John 11:25,26 - Experiencing Resurrection Power!
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
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
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,"
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
"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.
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 , 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
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
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 Commentary]
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 Commentary)
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
Let's remember the rest of this story. Then let faith grow and
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 Christians.
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. 24).
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 Martha.
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
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
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 burial....
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
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 11:25)....
....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 [Inspirational SB]
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 Commentary]
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
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
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 cases).
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