The Entire Message

The Entire Message

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
– John 11:25, 26

Now, that is one bold statement from a Jew? You know why?
Let us peek a bit into the Jewish customs to learn a bit of the context of the verse.

The Jews are very particular about the customs when it comes to burial and mourning.  A few of them are:

  • Only burying is allowed and not cremation since man who was made from dust should be returned to the dust.
  • A Jew should be with the dead body 24 x 7 till it is buried. This person will be reading psalms and comforting the confused soul that stays near the body.
  • The burial is to be done within 24 hours of death with exception of Sabbath and any religious holidays
  • As soon as a person dies, the body is covered in white linen by Jews specialized in doing this.
  • All the mirrors and reflecting surfaces in the house are covered with black cloth
  • All the stagnant water in the house is discarded as the soul cannot cross over water.
  • All the doors and windows of the house are opened so that the soul can go out.

As per their beliefs, the soul of a dead person roams on earth for 3 days after the death and then returns back to where it belongs. So after a period of 3 days, the soul cannot be recalled by anyone other than God Himself.

So, this answers the question of why Jesus tells in verse 4 of John 11:
“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

And also in verses 14 and 15
So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

It wasn’t because it was the first time Jesus was raising a person from dead. He had already raised Jairus’ daughter and the widow’s son from the dead. But this one was special. The resurrection of Lazarus was special as this wasn’t within the 3 day window with a ray of hope that the soul was somewhere on this earth.

It was after the soul had left this earth. So, it takes someone who has authority beyond this earth to bring the soul back.
And that was what Jesus did.

When Jesus raises up Lazarus from the death, He was indeed proving He is RESURRECTION!

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection………..

Resurrection was a far away hope that the Jews had. That on the last day, when the Messiah comes, all the righteous ones will rise up from their graves. But here was a man who was claiming to have that power. In fact He was claiming that He was Resurrection!!

He has the power over life and earth. He has power over heaven and earth. He is the one who was sent by God (Verses 41, 42). He was God.

It was no wonder that the Sanhedrin plotted to kill Jesus after this incident (verse 53). Here was a man who claimed to be God. He claimed to be resurrection himself and when He claims that He is resurrection, He is telling that there is no other way to eternal life but through Him. There is no hope for your dead circumstances but through Him. There is no other way for rising up from the grave, but through Him.

After 3 days of death, Mary and Martha had no more hope left. All of it had dried up as they rolled that stone in front of Lazarus’ grave. Now, here was a man who says “I am the resurrection”

He doesn’t stop there but goes on to say “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.

Now, if we read on from Genesis 2:7, it says, “Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

One can only breathe out what is there inside. When God, during creation, breathed out life, it is because He was life. He just breathed out whatever He was. Life doesn’t procreate from something that is dead or inanimate. It has to come from a being that had it in Him.

Life came from God, the creator. When Jesus proclaims “I am the life”, it is a clear statement of “I am Him who creates. I am God. I am life. I am the breath of life that is in man from the beginning”

 “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” 
-John 1:3-5

When someone proclaims that He IS life, it is pretty clear that there is NO other option but through Him. There isn’t a second choice. There is no alternative. HE is it. If you want life, come to JESUS and that is the only place where you will find LIFE.

Now the second part of the verse is bit of a tongue twister:
The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

 Let me try breaking this down with an illustration:

liveThe words ‘LIVE’ and ‘DIE’ are repeated twice in the verse but represent two different realms in each instance.

The one who believes in me will live (in the spiritual realm), even though they die (in the physical realm); and whoever lives (in the physical realm) by believing in me will never die (in the spiritual realm).

The connection between the realms was established when God breathed His life into the physical body of Adam. However, when man sinned, this beautiful connection was lost!

Here is the need for a re-establishment of the connection. This could be done through a second episode of ‘giving life’ which is exactly what Jesus did. He gave His life to re-establish the broken connection. Now, anyone who believes in Him will have an eternal life though the physical body dies.

It is important to note that life is in God and if Jesus had to give this life, He had to be God, the creator who breathed life into Adam.

There is also this beautiful hope that even when our physical body withers off, it is NOT the end. We have so much to hope for; we have great things to look forward to.

The world says it all ends with death and there is nothing but darkness beyond. But the word of God assures us that no death or darkness has overcome the light of life that Jesus provides.

In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” 
-John 1:4-5

In short, Jesus is predicting His own death when He says “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” He proclaims that the life of all mankind lies in Him and will be given to us at the cross.

So, the nice passage is over and everything is set right? No it isn’t.
If anyone noticed, the verse doesn’t end there. It goes on with a small question and on it lies the hinge of door to eternity.

Do you believe this?” (John 11:16)

It is all well and good but the clause of ‘Terms and conditions apply’ lies in this part.

Jesus says I am God. I am life. I am going to die for you. You will have eternal life. But……………….all this comes into work when YOU BELIEVE!! When you believe that Jesus is God; when you believe that He is life; when you believe that His sacrifice will be a onetime sin offering and He is enough; when you believe the ONLY way to eternal life is through Him.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believesin him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10:9,10
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

The verses John 11: 25, 26 in a nutshell, is the entire message of the Bible. The creation, sin, solution to sin and eternal life is in these two verses.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

And let us not forget the altar call into eternal life.

“Do you believe this?”


Credits: The Entire Message

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