April 8, 2007 - Easter Sunday
Let’s begin by reading today’s Scripture passage, John chapter 11 and verses 17 through 27: “So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off; and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house. Martha then said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. "Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." Jesus said* to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha said* to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?" She said* to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world."
In the world of modern medicine, body parts can be re[laced by bits of plastic and metal. Human beings can be kept alive by machines, and some people even choose to have their bodies preserved in hopes of being re-animated at some point in the future. All of this tinkering may make us feel a bit more comfortable for a while, but it can’t do the one thing so many people seem to be attempting: to keep from dying. Man is powerless in the face of death.
For many people, the fact that death cannot be avoided is frightening. But for Believers, the end of physical life does have an element of great anticipation, for they are about to see the Lord. Jesus’ victory over the grave took away the sting of death. Through Him, we are made righteous – the Lord looks upon our cleansed soul and welcomes us into heaven. The very thing which has engendered fear and uncertainty has become a sure doorway to eternity with God.
Furthermore, Christ’s resurrection assures believers that their place in heaven is secure. The night before His crucifixion, Jesus spoke these words from John chapter 14, verses 1 and 2 about His Father’s house to the disciples: “In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. "If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
Believers need not fear death. The Lord has numbered our days on this earth, and when our time comes, we will join Him in the place that Jesus has prepared for us. We will share in Christ’s victory over the grave.