By Pastor Ted R. House
In John chapter 11, we find the account of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Mary and Martha were the sisters of Lazarus, and all three were very close friends of Jesus. When Lazarus was sick unto death, Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus asking Him to come to them. Jesus and His disciples were not in Bethany when He received the message, and He did not leave immediately to go to Mary and Martha. Instead, He waited two days. In John 11:4, Jesus told His disciples: "... This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." At the end of the two days, Jesus told His disciples in John 4:14 & 15: "... Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him." When they arrived, Lazarus had been in the grave for four days.
John 11:20-27 tells us: "Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world." We know that at the end of this story Jesus cried out, "... Lazarus come forth" and Lazarus miraculously rose from the dead. Think about the reality of death. It is a great separator, and it seems so permanent. It changes the lives of the loved ones left behind. Jesus made three very profound statements about death in His conversation with Martha. First He said: "... I am the resurrection, and the life...".
Jesus is eternal life! He not only possesses eternal life; He is eternal life! Next, He said: "... he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live..." Even though the body has died, the person has not. His third statement was: "And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die....". Focus on the last statement. Once a person has trusted Christ as their Savior, Jesus said that they will never die! Friend, if you have suffered the loss of a loved one who believed in Christ and had accepted Him as their Savior, based on God's Word, they are not dead! Jesus asked Martha: "...Believest thou this?" Ask yourself the same question: Do you believe what Jesus said? It is the blessed hope of all Christians. This is why believers can cope with death differently than unbelievers. In John 1:4 when speaking of Jesus it says: "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." In John 14:6 Jesus said: "... I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 3:16-17 tells us: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
Everlasting life means that there is no end. In John 10: 27-28 Jesus said: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." We have God's Word on it! But, there are two sides. In John 3:18, the Bible says: "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." "Believest thou this?"