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Jesus Is the Resurrection and the Life

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Jesus Is the Resurrection and the Life

John 11:1-27

Series: The Great I Am

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Feb. 16, 2014


*Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That means He is also God the Son, one with God the Father, and conceived as a man by God the Holy Spirit. Jesus was sent into world as a man to reveal the one true God to all people. He was sent by the love of God, sent to die on the cross for our sins, and sent to save everyone who will trust in Him.

*How do we know? -- The Bible makes this truth clear in many places. John 1:1-4 calls Jesus "The Word," and says:

1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2. He was in the beginning with God.

3. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

4. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

*In John 1:18, the Apostle said this about Jesus:

-"No one has seen God (i.e. God the Father) at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him."

*Jesus affirmed this truth in John 6:44-47, where He said:

44. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

45. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

46. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

47. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

*And in John 8, Jesus said this to some unbelieving Jews:

23. . . "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

24. Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.''

*Before He was born as a man, Jesus Christ was the great "I AM", Lord God Almighty who appeared many times in the Old Testament. That is the main reason why the Lord made His "I AM" statements in John's Gospel. For us the "I AM's" reveal great truths about our Savior. But through these statements, Jesus also rightly claimed to be the God of the Old Testament.

*About 1,400 years before Christ was born as a man, God appeared to Moses in the burning bush. And when Moses asked God His name, God said this to Moses: "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.''' In Hebrew this name "I AM" was Jehovah or Yahweh. God used this name almost 7,000 times in the Old Testament.

*The New Testament is also saturated with this "I AM" name for God, because "Jesus" means "Jehovah is salvation." Or we could say: "'I AM' is salvation." Jesus Christ the great "I AM" is salvation!

*Please open your Bibles to John 11, to see another of the Lord's famous "I AM" statements. This morning we will begin by reading John 11:1-27.


*Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life! -- What does this mean for us?

1. First: We should trust the Lord when life is a mystery.

*Jesus' plan for our lives contains some mystery, and we can see this truth in vs. 1-6:

1. Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

2. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.

3. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.''

4. When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.''

5. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

6. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.

*Here is the mystery when it came to Mary, Martha and Lazarus: Jesus' love was not in doubt, but He left them in despair. God's Word goes out of the way to confirm the love that Jesus had for these people. They were very close friends.

*Verse 2 mentions one of what must have been many times Jesus visited in their home. In vs. 3, the sisters sent a message to Jesus saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.'' And vs. 5 plainly says: "Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus."

*But even though Jesus loved them, He left them in despair, at least for a while. And it was a mystery. Please look at vs. 5&6 again:

5. Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

6. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.

*That sounds like an odd thing to say, just the opposite of what we would expect. Not: "He loved them, so He got back there as quick as He could." -- But: "He loved them, so He stayed away.

*Many times we see such mysteries in the Bible: Why did Abraham and Sarah have to be so old when Isaac was born? Why did the Children of Israel have to stay in Egypt for four hundred years? Why did that man in John 9 have to be born blind? Why him? Why us? Sometimes, we are left to wonder why.

*I remember Pastor Mike Barnett's dad taking an early retirement from one of the big oil companies. The reason why was so that he and his wife, Linda, could do mission work out west for the North American Mission Board.

*They went, and the work was going great. New churches were started. People were getting saved. Then, at the age of 51, Linda was diagnosed with the advanced cancer that cut her life short.

*Why did that happen to Mike's parents just when they hit their stride in new service to the Lord? I can't tell you why. But I can tell you that God sent them special help at their lowest point. Mike's mother was in a dreary depression. She didn't feel like eating or even getting out of bed.

*Their TV was broken and Mike's dad decided he would get it fixed, so she would have something to take her mind off her sickness. He called a repair shop, and sometime later a man arrived at their house. The repairman walked into the room with his toolkit, pulled the TV out from the wall, and sat behind it. Mike's dad couldn't see what he was doing.

*After about 5 minutes he stuck his head out from behind the TV and said, "Sir, your heart is troubled, isn't it?" Mike's dad told him about the struggle his wife was having with cancer. Then the repairman went to a chair in the living room and started talking to Mike's dad about the love of God. He quoted Scripture and spoke with such power that Mr. Barnett was greatly encouraged.

*Mike's dad was so encouraged that he asked the man to wait a minute while he went into the bedroom to get his wife. Mike's mom came out and lay on the couch while the man talked for 30-45 minutes about the love of God.

*When the man finished, he said, "Your TV is fixed." Then he walked out the door. Mike's dad never saw the man again. and he never got a bill for the work. They believed that God might have sent an angel to them that day. And that certainly could be true.

*The cancer was a mystery, but God sent them the help they needed. And they kept on trusting in the Lord. Sometimes we will have to wonder why. But Jesus is the resurrection and the life, so we should trust the Lord through life's mystery.

2. And trust Him in our agony.

*We can see this truth starting down in vs. 17. By this time Jesus and His disciples had almost gotten to Lazarus' house, and vs. 17 says:

17. So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.

18. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away.

19. And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

20. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house.

21. Then Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.

*Martha and Mary were in agony. Their beloved brother Lazarus was dead. Verse 17 tells us that he had been dead four days by the time Jesus got there. And we can see great pain in Martha's complaint in vs. 21: "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died!"

*She went to the Lord with a complaint. But the important thing is: She went to the Lord. God knows our hearts. We can't hide anything from Him anyway. And we ought to trust Him enough to take our complaints to Him.

*We can take our agony to the Lord, because He is the resurrection and the life. And we can see this much better than Martha could, at the time, because we know the end of the story! We know that Lazarus was raised from the dead! And we know that Jesus rose again from the dead forever!

*Jesus is the resurrection and the life! -- So we can take our hurts to Him, and we should. We should trust the Lord in our agony.

3. And trust in His ability.

*We have already seen how the Lord loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus. But also look starting down in vs. 32, when Lazarus' other sister Mary ran to Jesus:

32. Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.''

33. Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.

34. And He said, "Where have you laid him?'' They said to Him, "Lord, come and see.''

35. Jesus wept.

36. Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!''

*Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus, so of course He was sympathetic to their troubles. But the great news is that Jesus has the ability to help like nobody else can. Martha and the Lord both affirm this for us back in vs. 21-23:

21. Then Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.

22. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.''

23. Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again.''

*Jesus proved His strength just a little while later, when they went to the graveside. Starting in vs. 39, Jesus said:

39. . . "Take away the stone.'' Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.''

40. Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?''

41. Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.

42. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.''

43. Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!''

44. And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go.''

*"Lazarus, come forth!'' -- And of course, he did. But that was just a little touch of the Lord's ability. I once heard that Jesus called Lazarus by name, because if He didn't, every person in that cemetery would have come back from the dead! But the greatest demonstration of the Lord's ability was when Jesus came back from the dead, never to die again!

*Steve Nickles tells about buying an aquarium for his two-year-old daughter Sara. They went together to the pet store to pick out four fish for the tank. Then one morning, Sara found one of the fish dead. It was caught up in the plastic bushes.

*Mom called Steve at the office and put Sara on the phone. In her two-year-old way, she explained that the fish had died. She found it in the bushes, and they were going to have a funeral in the back yard. Steve has always remembered the last thing Sara said before she hung up: "Daddy, keep me from getting caught in the bushes." (1)

*Sara was just two, but she knew that she needed somebody bigger and stronger to take care of her. And we do too! Jesus Christ is the only one who is big enough to take care of us today and forever. Jesus is the resurrection and the life! -- So we should trust in His ability.

4. And trust Him to overcome our enemy.

*The Bible tells us that death is our enemy. 1 Corinthians 15:25&26, tells us that Jesus:

25. . . must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.

26. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

*Who can overcome death? Not me. Not you. Only Jesus Christ can overcome our enemy death! Martha partially understood this truth in vs. 24. There she said this to Jesus, "I know that he (my brother Lazarus) will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." But in vs. 25, Jesus replied, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live." Death can never defeat Jesus Christ! No enemy will ever be able to defeat the Lord.

*Ron Hutchcraft reminds us of this great truth in a testimony about his daughter. Ron said: "Our daughter, Lisa, is all grown up and married, and a mom. The other day she told me about the Bible verse she learned as a little girl and never forgot: 'If God is for us, who can be against us?' (Romans 8:31)

*Then she told me why she never forgot it. One day when she was pretty young I had brought her to my office, and at lunchtime, we walked downtown to get something to eat. Lisa remembers very vividly, that we passed a storefront that must have been a fortune teller's place. There was a picture of a big human palm in the window, showing that the occupant did palm reading.

*Lisa told me that I explained to her all that meant. That night she got to thinking about it, and got too scared to go to sleep. At that point she said I knelt next to her bed, and I gave her that verse from the Word of God: Romans 8:31, 'If God is for us, who can be against us?'

*Lisa went to sleep repeating those words. She never forgot them, and hung onto them many times in the years to come." (2)

*"If God is for us, who can be against us?" The answer is no one, because Jesus is the resurrection and the life! So we should trust Him to overcome our enemy.

5. And trust Him for our eternity.

*Unless the Lord comes back first, our physical bodies will die. But Jesus gives us life that will last forever! That's why in vs. 26 Jesus could say, "Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. . ." Believing in the Lord, trusting Jesus gives us a life that will last for all eternity. How long is that?

*Dave Atnip helped put it in perspective with this illustration: "A small ant travels at the speed of 1/17 of a mile per hour. The average distance from the earth to the moon is about 239,000 miles. If you could stretch a string from the earth to the moon, how long would it take for that ant to carry one grain of sand to the moon and come back? The answer is: 927 years.

*But how long would it take that same ant to move the whole earth to the moon, one grain of sand at a time? Our minds can't conceive how long this would be. But by the time that ant moved the whole earth to the moon, eternity would have just begun!" (3)

*Eternal life is forever and ever, and we have it, if we have believed in Jesus Christ! As Jesus said in vs. 26, "Whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. . ."

*Then He added the all important question: "Do you believe this?" In vs. 27 Martha gave the right answer, the answer everyone should give to Jesus: "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world." We can trust Jesus with our eternity.

*Paul Powell gave this great insight about death and Heaven: "Once a loved one dies our attitude about heaven changes. When we are small children, we think of heaven as a great shining city with huge walls, and streets made of gold. But we do not think of people we know living there -- only angels, and people in the Bible and Christians who were strangers to us.

*Then someone we know dies, a Christian brother, a sister, or a parent. And we begin to think of heaven as a great shining city with huge walls, streets made of gold, angels, and one person we know.

*Several Christian friends and acquaintances die. Then, one by one, our own children may die. No longer do we picture Heaven as just a great shining city with huge walls, and streets made of gold. When we think of heaven, we now think of the many people we know and love who are living there: People like Mom and Dad, Mamaw and Papaw, my best friend, or the love of my life." (4)

*Christians: When we think of Heaven, we think of these people, and the sure hope we have of seeing them again. And we will see them again, because Jesus is the resurrection and the life.

*So trust Him in the mysteries and agonies of life.

-Trust in His strong ability.

-Trust Him to overcome our enemy.

-And trust Jesus Christ for your eternity

*I urge you to do that right now, as we go to God in prayer.

(1) "Daddy's Protective Care" by Steve Nickles - Source: SermonCentral illustration contributed by A. Todd Coget

(2) KERUX ILLUSTRATION COLLECTION - ID Number: 9097 - SOURCE: "A Word with You" by Ron Hutchcraft #3832 - TITLE: "Living Proof" - AUTHOR: Ron Hutchcraft - DATE: 9182001

(3) Adapted from KERUX ILLUSTRATION COLLECTION - ID Number: 22443 - SOURCE: Daily Bread (1011999) - AUTHOR: Dave Atnip, Sr.

(4) Adapted from "Joy Comes in the Morning" by Paul W. Powell - p. 12-13

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