The Resurrection and the Life
We are in the fifth week of our series, entitled I AM statements of Jesus, that are found in the gospel of John. We started with “I Am the Bread of Life,” then we looked at “I am the Light of the World,” the third week we looked at “I Am the Door for the Sheep and last week we looked at “I Am the Good Shepherd and today we see Jesus say once again an I AM Statement, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”
The importance of understanding Jesus’ I AM statements is to know that what Jesus is saying is that He is God in the Flesh…And with each I AM points to why God came inform of flesh to dwell among us.
I want to start today by reading what John wrote his gospel. He writes,
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John wants us to see that God displayed his love by sending Jesus to pay for our sin and whoever believes his hope on Christ will have eternal life.
All of us have or will question God's love at some point in our lives. It usually comes when life is difficult or painful. Here we are in the middle of pandemic and maybe there are some of us that is questioning God right now, questioning whether He truly loves us or not, Why are these things happening?
Today's' passage tells the story of people who question Jesus'. Have you ever questioned God?
Lets read together John 11:20-21
20 Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
Jesus will soon answer Martha’s question with an I AM statement, saying I Am the Resurrection.
So Martha comes to Jesus saying, 'If you had been here, my brother would not have died.' She is questioning Jesus' love because he did not intervene and heal her brother. She interprets Jesus letting Lazarus die as a lack of love.
Yet we are told that he loved Martha and Lazarus earlier in the passage. So in my mind God's/Jesus' love is displayed much deeper or differently than by sparing us suffering and death.
1. The Resurrection Demonstrates God's Love For Us (vs. 20-21)
God demonstrates his love more by giving us himself and all that he promises to be for us in Jesus.
Again, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
God’s love is the gift of eternal life at the cost of his Son. What is the essence of eternal life? Jesus himself tells us,
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
So when Martha comes to him in her grief and doubt, as perhaps we do as well in difficult times, Jesus points her to himself, the one who loves her more than she could imagine and will soon demonstrate that love by going to the cross for her and then rise again from the dead.
The cross is the greatest demonstration of God's love for humanity. When you doubt it, look to the cross. Whatever issues you are facing today, your greatest need is Jesus and his death on the cross.
I say this because the greatest human need that must be dealt with is our sin and Jesus came to effectively deal with sin and the wages of that sin, which is Death.
Lazarus died, we all will die, because of sin. Not because of Corona, Cancer, Heart disease or any other disease for that matter. We die because of SIN.
Death is a daily reminder that there is something terribly wrong with the world, and the problem we all have is sin. We are all infected. It has a 100% mortality rate. That means 7 billion out of 7 billion people will die because of their sin.
It is because of sin, why there are wars, political corruption, and economic issues, and illnesses, diseases, natural disasters, etc...
It is also why there are marital problems, children roll their eyes at parents, and we are addicted to everything from i Phones to heroin.
It is because the human heart is sinful, including yours and mine. Yet Christ's death and His resurrection is the remedy for our sin because it brings the hope of LIFE eternal which lead to my next point in this passage we are looking at today, and that it
2. The Resurrection Life is Eternal Life (vs. 25-26)
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Martha is grieving over the death of her brother and Jesus' answer is to preach a mini sermon about himself. Jesus is saying to Martha,
Let me be specific, Martha. I am exactly what Lazarus needs and what you need. He is dead and you are alive. So listen to me, “whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” That’s for Lazarus.
Though he dies physically yet he lives spiritually. And “Everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” That’s for you Martha.
You have no fear of physical death because you will never die spiritually. I will rescue Lazarus from the grave, body and soul.
And you, you live, and believe in me, and so you will never die—there will never be one millisecond when you are out of saving fellowship with me.
Remember 'this is eternal life, that you know the only true God, and Jesus Christ. And this means I love you. And I love your brother. I will not abandon his soul to the grave or let his flesh be destroyed. I will raise him. And I will keep you in everlasting fellowship with me. I am revealing my power and my glory to you, because I love you.
LOOK - I am the resurrection and the life also means that you will not find eternal life in anyone else.
Not all religions lead to God; Jesus is making an exclusive claim, “I am the resurrection and the life.”
It's just another way of saying “I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the Father but by me.”
Martha questions God, but then God questions Martha and He is questioning you today as well, Jesus asked Martha “Do you believe?”
We know how Martha responds in the next verse. She says,
27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
It would only be a short time from this event that Jesus Himself would go to the cross die, be buried and the raise Himself from the grave.
How do you respond to Jesus’ I Am statement this morning, Is Jesus truly the resurrection and the life. Did Jesus Rise from the dead?
We celebrate Easter, or Resurrection Sunday because we who gather together in His name believe that He truly did Rise from the Dead. If you need evidence to support that claim there is evidence that does. Many who have been skeptics have come to the saving truth about Jesus’ resurrection.
Over 500 people witnessed Him alive after His Crucifixion. One of the greatest skeptics was Saul who encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. And became Paul one of the greatest Missionaries of the Gospel sent by God to the Gentiles and would come to his earthly end because of his message about Jesus Christ and Christ’s gospel.
It is because of the Gospel of Jesus that we gather at His communion table to remember His death, burial and resurrection for the sake of all of mankind, to any and all who will place their trust, belief, faith and hope in Jesus Christ who is our Passover, the lamb of God who took away the sins of the world.
Lord Bless us this day as we remember your great and holy sacrifice. Thank you for saving us from ourselves. Thank you for showing us your great and mighty love.
As we gather at your table we come with humble hearts, grateful for the grace you have given us. We do all this in Remembrance of You our Savior, Lord and King.
Bless the bread and the cup, for we know what it symbolizes. For Christ is the Bread and is the Cup of our salvation in whom we believe.
In the Old Testament, there was a time that was called “Passover”. Much of the symbols we have with our Communion come from that time of celebration.
In the Passover meal, the bread had a particular significance. When the Hebrew women made their household bread, they took a piece of fermented dough they saved from a previous day and mixed it into their fresh flour. With time, the yeast would overtake the dough and she could then make her family’s daily bread. (After saving a piece for future baking, of course.) When God delivered the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, there wasn’t time to bake bread or hassle with yeast. They ate their bread unleavened.
Eating unleavened bread became a reminder of the time when God delivered the children of Israel out of bondage.
In Exodus 13:8-9, God gives meaning to the unleavened bread, He said,
8 And you shall tell your son in that day, saying, ‘This is done because of what the Lord did for me when I came up from Egypt.’ 9 It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the Lord’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the Lord has brought you out of Egypt.
At the Lord’s Supper, the bread that celebrated the people’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage took on a new meaning. Now it commemorates Jesus’ broken body and celebrates the Christian’s deliverance from the bondage of sin. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the tomb, eternal life is available to all who receive of Jesus Christ.
Take and eat the bread.
When Jesus handed the cup to the disciples, at the first Communion, they naturally would have thought of the blood of the lamb smeared on the doorpost of their ancestors’ homes in Egypt. This was done in preparation for the tenth plague, God instructed the children of Israel to put the blood of the Passover lamb on the two doorposts and on the lentel of the house.
God had made a covenant with the people: when the death angel saw the blood on the doorposts, it would "pass over" that house. The plague of death would not touch them.
But if a house did not have the blood on the doorposts and lentel, the death angel would visit their home and kill their first born son.
The Lord said in Exodus 12:13
13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
As the disciples drank the wine, they remembered the blood covenant. But Jesus reinterpreted the wine to symbolize a new covenant.
In the Lord’s Supper, Jesus’ blood now symbolizes more then salvation from a single night of terror, instead, it celebrates eternal salvation.
In 1 Peter 1:18-19
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
Today, we celebrate the Lord’s Supper with Christ.
As we partake of the fruit of the vine, we celebrate eternal salvation.
As the scripture says,
"And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you;  for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins"
Take and drink.