John 11:25,26 - Experiencing Resurrection Power!
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in
me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will
never die. Do you believe this?" John 11:25, 26 (NIV)
The Seventh Sign of John's Gospel
The final sign miracle in John's Gospel is the climax of Jesus' signs: He
raised Lazarus from the dead, proving to all that He was master even over
death. The amazing thing was that this miracle led directly to the plot to
arrest Him and put Him to death, along with Lazarus! [Word In Life SB]
It was after the raising of Lazarus from the dead that the chief priests,
Pharisees, and other religious leaders finally determined to put Jesus to
death (John 1 1:53). Until now, the conflict between them and the upstart
rabbi had been little more than a war of words. But the raising of Lazarus
was an incredible miracle, witnessed by many. Jesus had raised at least two
others, but those events had taken place in faraway Galilee (Mark 5:22-24,
35-43; Luke 7:11-17). By contrast, Lazarus' resurrection occurred in Bethany
a suburb of Jerusalem (John 11:18).
Not surprisingly, the miracle caused many to believe in Jesus (v. 45). It
provided undeniable proof that Jesus' bold claim must be true: "I am the
resurrection and the life .... and whoever lives and believes in Me shall
never die" (v. 25). Indeed, Lazarus became something of a curiosity, drawing
numerous onlookers who wanted to see for themselves the man whom Jesus had
brought back to life (12:9).
It was this kind of publicity that the leaders especially feared. Disputes
over religious matters were one thing, a rapidly growing movement led by a
popular Messiah-figure was something else. It was bound to have political
repercussions, as the Romans were ever on the lookout for signs of rebellion
(see "Jerusalem Surrounded," Luke21:20).
It was Caiaphas.the high priest (see Matt. 26:3) who saw the usefulness of
that fact. Why sacrifice the entire nation for the sake of Jesus, when Jesus
could be sacrificed for the sake of the nation (John 11:49-52)? Thus the
religious leaders began to scheme how they might bring Jesus before the
Romans and, hopefully, have Him put away on a charge of rebellion. And even
though Lazarus had just been brought back from the dead, they plotted to do
away with him as well, as he was living evidence of Jesus' power (12:10-11).
The plan succeeded brilliantly except for one detail that Caiaphas and his
fellow leaders either overlooked or refused to believe: in arranging His
death, they handed Him an opportunity to prove once and for all that He had
spoken the truth when He said, "I am the resurrection and the life." [Word
In Life SB]
Christ endured an agonizing death under the most humiliating circumstances
that we might have life. He gave up His precious life that He might vanquish
death. But He rose from the tomb, and the myriads of angels who came to
behold Him take up the life He had laid down heard His words of triumphant
joy as He stood above Joseph's rent sepulcher proclaiming: "I am the
resurrection, and the life."
The question, "If a man die, shall he live again?" has been answered. By
bearing the penalty of sin, by going down into the grave, Christ has
brightened the tomb for all who die in faith. God in human form has brought
life and immortality to light through the gospel. In dying, Christ secured
eternal life for all who believe in Him. 6T230,1
This is the fifth of Jesus' great "I am" revelations. [Bible Knowledge
"I am the resurrection, and the life." This language can be used only by the
Deity. All created things live by the will and power of God. They are
dependent recipients of the life of the Son of God. 5BC1113,4
I am the resurrection: I am the author or the cause of the resurrection. It
so depends on my power and will, that it may be said that I am the
resurrection itself. This is a most expressive way of saying that the whole
doctrine of the resurrection came from him, and the whole power to effect it
was his. (Barnes' Notes)
Martha believed that at his prayer God would give any thing, but he would
have her know that by his word he could work anything. Martha believed a
resurrection at the last day; Christ tells her that he had that power lodged
in his own hand, that the dead were to hear his voice <Jn 5:25>, whence it
was easy to infer, He that could raise a world of men that had been dead
many ages could doubtless raise one man that had been dead but four days.
(Matthew Henry's Commentary)
Thou sayest that thy brother shall rise again in the resurrection at the
last day; but by whom shall he arise if not by ME, who am the author of the
resurrection, and the source of life? And is it not as easy for me to raise
him now as to raise him then? (Adam Clarke Commentary)
As the resurrection of all depends on him, he intimated that it was not
indispensable that it should be deferred to the last day. He had power to do
it now as well as then. (Barnes' Notes)
Shall never die. Or, shall not die forever. Though he die a temporal death,
he shall not continue under its power forever; but shall have a resurrection
to life eternal. (Adam Clarke Commentary)
Shall never die-is better translated, " . . . shall not die forever." ....
Christ did not promise the prevention of death; He promised the life that
guarantees resurrection and eternal life. [Jamieson, Fausset, And Brown
Greek, "Shall by no means die forever." (Barnes' Notes)
Every man who has believed or shall believe in me, though his believing
shall not prevent him from dying a natural death, yet his body shall be
reanimated, and he shall live with me in an eternal glory. (Adam Clarke
Jesus' additional revelation (His fifth "I am" statement) concerns His
identity as the One who raises the dead, who guarantees that those who
believe in Him may die physically, but it will not last forever (John
11:26). Physical death will be openly and finally defeated at the future
resurrection. The raising of Lazarus is a foreshadowing of that great event
(cf. 1 Cor. 15). [Believer's SB]
"If You had been here, my brother would not have died" The words express
faith, and perhaps reproach. Jesus should have been there for His friend
Lazarus. But He wasn't. And Lazarus died.
If we look back over our lives, we can all identify times when God could
have intervened for us, but did not. He could have changed things. Yet for
some reason we can't understand, He did not. At such times it's likely that
we too mix a measure of faith with a measure of reproach.
Let's remember the rest of this story. Then let faith grow and reproach go.
The Jews buried a corpse on the day of death, wrapping the body in strips of
cloth or in a sheet. They did, however, return to the grave, to make sure
the person was really dead and not in a coma. Lazarus had been in his tomb
four days (v. 17) when Jesus arrived. When Lazarus responded to Jesus' call
and came out from the grave, there was not the shadow of doubt that Christ
had recalled a dead man to life. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
The greatest miracle of Jesus was not raising Lazarus to physical life
again, for Martha's brother would again die. The greatest miracle was and is
in Jesus' power to give spiritual life to us who believe in Him. [Victor
Bible Reader's Companion mod]
Tokichi Ishii had an almost unparalleled criminal record. He had murdered
men, women and children in the most brutal way. Anyone who stood in his way
was pitilessly eliminated. Now he was in prison awaiting death. While in
prison he was visited by two Canadian women who tried to talk to him through
the bars, but he only glowered at them like a caged and savage animal. In
the end they abandoned the attempt; but they gave him a Bible, hoping that
it might succeed where they had failed. He began to read it, and, having
started, could not stop. He read on until he came to the story of the
Crucifixion. He came to the words: "Father, forgive them, for they know not
what they do." and these words broke him. "I stopped," he said. "I was
stabbed to the heart, as if pierced by a five-inch nail. Shall I call it the
love of Christ? Shall I call it his compassion? I do not know what to call
it. I only know that I believed, and my hardness of heart was changed."
Later, when the condemned man went to the scaffold, he was no longer the
hardened, surly brute he once had been, but a smiling radiant man. The
murderer had been born again; Christ had brought Tokichi Ishii to life.
It does not need to be so dramatic as that. A man can become so selfish that
he is dead to the needs of others. A man can become so insensitive that he
is dead to the feelings of others. A man can become so involved in the petty
dishonesties and the petty disloyalties of life, that he is dead to honour.
A man can become so hopeless that he is filled with an inertia, which is
spiritual death. Jesus Christ can resurrect these men. The witness of
history is that he has resurrected millions and millions of people like them
and his touch has not lost its ancient power. [Barclay Commentary]
At The Last Day (John 11:17-44)
The words Martha blurted out put her in a category shared by many modern
Jesus had just said, "Your brother will rise again" (v. 23). And Martha
said, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day" (v.
But Jesus kept on probing. "I am the resurrection and the life," He said.
"Do you believe this?" (vv. 25-26)
You can almost see Martha nod in puzzlement. "'Yes, LORD,' she told Him, 'I
believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God.'"
It was after this that Jesus went on down to the tomb where Lazarus had laid
for four days, and gave the dead man back his life. And it is only in this
event that we can understand the implications of Jesus' conversation with
You see, Martha did believe. She was convinced that Jesus was the Son of
God. She was convinced that He could raise her brother-in the resurrection
of the last day. But Martha never stopped to think that Jesus could also
raise her brother then!
Like Martha, many modern Christians have a deep and abiding faith in Jesus.
They are sure He has won eternal life for them, and believe in a
resurrection which they will share. But, like Martha, many modern Christians
limit the power of Jesus to the future. They fail to realize that Jesus
brings life to the dead now.
He can take our dead hopes, and revive them. He can take our dormant
relationships, and revitalize them. He can transform the spiritually
indifferent, redirect the life of the sinner, and bring a vibrant newness to
every dead area within our lives.
Martha limited Jesus by expecting Him to act only in the future. Jesus in
raising Lazarus demonstrated that He is ready, willing, and able to act in
our now. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
Jesus demonstrated that His resurrection power was not limited to sometime
in the future, but that His power to bring life knows no limits. .... This
event is a demonstration of Jesus' ability to make His resurrection power
available to His people-now!
It is one thing to believe that Jesus has the power to raise us up on the
last day. He does and He will. But it's something else to realize that
Jesus' power is unlimited now; that Jesus can bring new life to the deadened
areas of our own personalities; that because of Jesus' power, we can risk
taking actions that we might otherwise never have the courage to take. We
need never draw back from anything God asks, for the unlimited power of new
life is ours in Him. [Victor Teacher's Commentary]
Personal Application: Don't limit Jesus' power to act in your present. [The
365-Day Devotional Commentary]
Have you been there? Have you been called to stand at the thin line that
separates the living from the dead? Have you lain awake at night listening
to machines pumping air in and out of your lungs? Have you watched sickness
corrode and atrophy the body of a friend? Have you lingered behind at the
cemetery long after the others have left, gazing in disbelief at the metal
casket that contains the body that contained the soul of the one you can't
believe is gone?
If so, then this canyon is not unfamiliar to you.... Standing on the edge of
the canyon draws all of life into perspective. What matters and what doesn't
are easily distinguished....
It is possible that I'm addressing someone who is walking the canyon
wall.... If this is the case, please read the rest of this piece very
carefully. Look carefully at the scene described in John 11.
In this scene there are two people: Martha and Jesus. And for all practical
purposes they are the only two people in the universe.
Her words were full of despair. "If you had been here...." She stares into
the Master's face with confused eyes.... Lazarus was dead. And the one man
who could have made a difference didn't. He hadn't even made it for the
You see, if God is God anywhere, he has to be God in the face of death. Pop
psychology can deal with depression. Pep talks can deal with pessimism.
Prosperity can handle hunger. But only God can deal with our ultimate
dilemma-death. And only the God of the Bible has dared to stand on the
canyon's edge and offer an answer....
Jesus then made one of those claims that place him either on the throne or
in the asylum: "Your brother will rise again."
Martha misunderstood. (Who wouldn't have?) "l know he will rise again in the
resurrection at the last day.
That wasn't what Jesus meant....Imagine the setting: Jesus has intruded on
the enemy's turf; he's standing in Satan's territory, Death Canyon. His
stomach turns as he smells the sulfuric stench of the ex-angel, and he
winces as he hears the oppressed wails of those trapped in the prison. Satan
has been here. He has violated one of God's creations.
With his foot planted on the serpent's head, Jesus speaks loudly enough that
his words echo off the canyon walls.
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even
though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die" (John
....Life confronts death-and wins! The wind stops. A cloud blocks the sun and
a bird chirps in the distance while a humiliated snake slithers between the
rocks and disappears into the ground....
But Jesus isn't through with Martha. With eyes locked on hers he asks the
greatest question found in Scripture, a question meant as much for you and
me as for Martha.
"Do you believe this?"....
This is a canyon question.... for then we must face ourselves as we really
are: rudderless humans tail spinning toward disaster. And we are forced to
see him for what he claims to be our only hope. God Came Near by Max Lucado
We call this world the land of the living; but it would in fact be more
correct to call it the land of the dying. Through Jesus Christ we know that
we are journeying, not to the sunset, but to the sunrise; we know, as
Mary Webb put it, that death is a gate on the sky-line. In the most real
sense we are not on our way to death, but on our way to life. [Barclay
They went through the church doors, signed the guest registry and made their
way to a back pew. Neither of them knew Polly's father, but they had decided
to go to his funeral because Polly Brinkman was their classmate.
It wasn't a comfortable situation for Steve Parks or Don Shackelford, but
they couldn't begin to imagine how tough it must have been for Polly. As
they filed past the open coffin after the service, Polly looked up at them
and kind of smiled and cried at the same time.
The next Thursday Polly came back to school and made it a point to talk with
Don and Steve before class. "I really want to thank you guys for being at my
dad's funeral Saturday. It means a lot to me," Polly said.
"We didn't know what else we could do to help," Don offered.
"That was enough," Polly said. "Just knowing I had friends there made a
difference. I didn't feel so alone. Your being around made the service
easier to take. It was like you shared some of the hurt."
Jesus understood what it was like to grieve with friends. Read John 11:1-45
to see how Jesus shared his friends' grief and how Jesus' presence at a
funeral made a difference. [Youth SB]
How long does it usually take to work through the grieving process?
The normal grief process includes five distinct stages, although one or more
stages may overlap! First is denial or disbelief. This period may last as
little as a few moments to as much as several days (or even years in rare
Next is usually anger. "This is so unfair!" says the grieving one. This
stage often includes anger toward God for "allowing" this to happen. The
distorted logic of grief may even make the mourner wonder, "How could this
have happened to a Christian?"
Then the grieving person typically will move to guilt and say many sentences
starting with, "If only I had . . ." Some of this guilt may have validity
and need to be resolved, but most is false guilt prompted by the turmoil of
emotional pain and a sense of loss.
Once the extent of the loss settles in, true grief will appear, usually
manifested by deep sadness and tears. This normal reaction is necessary and
important. Although one does not have to be overcome with emotion to release
the stress of grief, holding back feelings prolongs and worsens the pain.
Sharing the first four stages of grief with the mourners can help them reach
a permanent resolution. Knowing what to expect can prepare them for the
emotional struggle, but the grieving process lasts longer for some than
others. How long it lasts is not as important as moving through the first
four stages toward the final stage of acceptance. As long as a person is
consistently working through that process, grieving is normal, healthy, and
necessary. [Passages Of Life SB]