“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; the one 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?” John 11:25-26
I can only imagine the thrill of hope and comfort that must have rushed through Martha’s heart as she was asked those four words by Jesus himself—“Do you believe this?”. Her brother Lazarus had just died and in the midst of her sorrow and anguish she said to Jesus, “Yes, Lord; I have come to believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, and He who comes into the world” (John 11:27).
Martha’s faith was evident, but it was not without distraction. As we see later in this story, right before Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, he says “Remove the stone” (v. 39). Martha seems to respond to Jesus hesitantly when she says, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” (v. 39). There’s a hint of doubt that has clouded Martha’s faith. Jesus quickly responds to her by saying, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (v.40). Martha’s faith did not rest in her human effort to believe perfectly or her ability to believe without doubt—it rested in Jesus Christ who was faithful to remind her of what he had already told her before.
In this account of Lazarus being raised from the dead, we observe a pre crucifixion/resurrection world and reality. Martha didn’t have the whole story just yet. She couldn’t fully understand the weight of what Jesus had so faithfully reminded her of, “ I am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die”. In fact, on the timeline of history when we observe the events that would lead up to the crucifixion of Christ and a post resurrection world,, it was this very miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead that would immediately lead to the conspiracy of killing Jesus. Interestingly, many scholars believe that this is why “Jesus wept” in John 11:35. It is plausible to believe that he was not weeping because of the death of Lazarus, for he knew that Lazarus would be raised from the dead. Rather, it is believed that the reason he wept was because he knew this was the miracle and event that that would lead to the conspiracy of his killing and the eventual moment in Luke 22:42-44 where Jesus would be sweating in agony pleading with the Father “to remove this cup from me”. Praise be to God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ for the immeasurable sacrifice he made for us on that cross.
Everlasting Life—a promise that rests in the work and person of Jesus Christ. A promise that remains secure in “I am”. Do we believe this?
As believers who are living in a post resurrection world, we have been assigned to live in the shadow of the cross. We may not have the person of Jesus in the flesh reminding us of eternal life like we see in Martha’s story, but we have the benefit of believing in the finished work of Christ on the cross—his life, death, burial, resurrection, and his coming again!
As we carry on, each on our own journeys, striving to walk in the good works he has set out for us to do, let us remember that he has rescued us from this present evil age.
The cross reminds us of his burial. The burial reminds us of the empty tomb. The empty tomb reminds us of his going away. Let his going away remind us if His coming again!
Share below—I’d love to hear! How are you living in the shadow of the cross? In what ways is the Spirit strengthening your faith?
Lahni Jones is the wife to her high school sweetheart and mother of two little ones. She and her husband are raising their kiddos in an old Victorian-esque house nestled in a small rural town. She spends her days chasing her 3 year old son and putting pig tails in her 1 year olds curly red hair. She loves tea and coffee and is an “old soul”, relishing the small and simple moments of life. She enjoys reading books and writing. Most importantly, she is a believer of Jesus Christ and loves studying His word, growing, and learning in Him.