Sermon: Jesus is the Resurrection John 11:21-27

Jesus is the Resurrection

John 11:21-27

Introduction

Today we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We take our place in line as it were with all the saints of old who also rejoiced in the resurrection. In the message, I’d like to look at the resurrection from more of a theological perspective. The resurrection of our Lord happened in real time history. It was an actual event. Jesus really died on the cross, He was really buried in a tomb, and He really was raised from the dead on the third day. This is an historic provable fact, as verifiable as any other historic event.

As amazing and as vital as the resurrection is to Christian belief, Jesus is more than One who was raised from the dead. He’s more than the historic event; He’s more than a risen Savior.

The Apostle John has recorded seven I Am sayings of Jesus in his Gospel. Traditionally, even though there are more times in John’s Gospel where Jesus says the words I am, there are seven in which Jesus declares something about Himself corresponding to Him being the Divine Messiah promised by God the Father.

Likewise, it also is interesting that the Apostle John has recorded seven I Am sayings in the Book of Revelation.

I want to look today at one I Am saying in John and then the corresponding I Am saying found in the Book of Revelation.

By comparing our Lord’s Words in both instances we will gain a greater insight into who Jesus is and greater faith in His power and authority over death and life and over the resurrection.

We need to understand the significance of an I Am saying. Whenever our Lord uses this phrase to describe Himself, He is reaching back into eternity past to declare that He is the eternal Creator God who has always existed. We see this most vividly in the Book of Exodus when Moses is speaking with God at the burning bush. Moses asks God who He wants to say is sending him. God answers,
Exodus 3:13-14 (ESV)
13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

In the New Testament the equivalent to the OT I Am who I Am…is the emphatic ego emei. The I Am, the First and the Last, the eternal One

So, every time Jesus gives us an I Am saying, He is telling us that He is the great I Am who spoke the worlds into existence and spoke to Moses at the burning bush. This is true and accurate theology that fits very well with the rest of Scripture.

TT- Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life, everyone who believes in Him even if they die will live again.
Human need met by text

The greatest freedom a person can have is to let go of their soul, placing it in the hands of Jesus Christ safe and secure. We struggle in this life so much because we are afraid to completely trust Jesus. We worry and are anxious about so many things when the real and most important commodity we possess is our soul. Beloved can you trust Jesus with your soul? As Jesus entrusted Himself to His Father we must entrust ourselves to Jesus.   Believing in the resurrection of Christ leads us to trust Jesus with our soul when we die. I pray today that this truth from John and then from Revelation will remind us that Jesus is Lord of the resurrection, His and ours. Jesus can be trusted…do you believe this?

John 11:21-27 (ESV)
21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

1. I Am the Lord of the Resurrection

22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
Martha had believed some things correctly about Jesus, she had believed things correctly about the general resurrection at the last day, however her faith fell short. She thought that Jesus was somehow limited by space and time. She also thought that His power only came from God the Father.
“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
She believed that Jesus had to be physically present to heal her brother.
22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.
She didn’t fully understand the Lord’s power. She thought that Jesus was just another prophet or man of God who could call on God the Father and He would heal her brother. She had not looked on Christ to do anything in His own power but simply One who could call on God in prayer.
I want us to notice very carefully what Jesus’ response is to Martha’s statement that her brother Lazarus would rise again at the resurrection of the last day…
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.
We must understand that when I said Jesus is more than a resurrected Savior what I mean is Jesus is not simply the Savior who was resurrected, He is the resurrection. Notice also, that our Lord doesn’t stop there. He also states…I Am the Life. I Am the Resurrection and the life.
How does our Lord explain His two claims?
Jesus tells us some amazing truths
I Am the Resurrection… Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
Because Jesus is God and because He is the resurrection or literally the Lord of the resurrection, His claim is absolutely true. In the context we have Jesus speaking with Martha about Lazarus. But what is true of Lazarus is true universally. Everyone who believes in Jesus, even if they die will live again. Lazarus of course at the time of their dialogue is dead. But all Jesus, the Lord of the resurrection and the Lord of life has to do is speak the word. The same Word that the dead planet heard at the beginning, Let there be light would also speak into the dark tomb of Lazarus…Lazarus come forth! Just as the dead planet responded with light and life when God spoke so too dead Lazarus responds when God speaks into the darkness and the Lord of life resuscitates and restores Lazarus back to life and he is raised from the dead.
I Am the God who rescued the Israelites from Egypt, I Am that I Am, I Am the Resurrection, and I Am the Life.
Prior to raising Lazarus, Jesus turns to Martha…
26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Literally, Jesus says in the original language…and everyone who lives believing in Me shall most certainly live forever, yes forever; he will never die, no never!
I think we should look into the vital truth Jesus speaks to us.
What does it mean to (as Jesus says) believe in Him?
John 3:15-16 (ESV)
15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Acts 16:30-31 (ESV)
30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Belief or simple faith means reliance or trust. Faith (trust, reliance) conveys the thought of making a commitment to someone. When a person relies or trusts in another person to accomplish a specific task for them they are committing themselves to that person wholeheartedly. Belief can be expressed as a personal commitment (handing over, turning over) of an individual’s faith to Jesus Christ alone for salvation. It’s a commitment of one’s faith to the death and resurrection of Christ for salvation. Faith is a commitment to Christ’s ability to give you salvation and eternal life. Believing on Christ means a person places their complete trust in the death and resurrection of Christ for the specific purpose of providing them with the forgiveness of sins, deliverance from hell, and the gift of eternal life.

Many people only believe in the historical facts of Christ’s death and resurrection. They believe He died in a generic way for the human race, but they have never committed their personal faith to Jesus Christ alone for salvation. They have never personally relied on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for their salvation. Belief in Jesus Christ can be accurately expressed as a definite decision or choice of a person’s will to commit their faith to Jesus Christ alone for salvation.

There is a vast difference between believing about Jesus and believing in Jesus Christ for salvation. General belief in God without committing your faith to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for salvation does not result in salvation (James 2:19).

Faith accepts the fact that Jesus died and rose again to give salvation. But it does not stop there. Faith then depends on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for salvation. Faith involves a definite decision or choice of a person’s will to commit their faith to Jesus Christ alone for salvationYou have not truly believed in Jesus Christ or expressed genuine faith in Christ until you make a personal choice to rely on Christ, commit your faith to Christ, or transfer all your trust in Christ alone for your salvation.[1]

To have this believe in Jesus means that when we die we will live again. Death is not the end but the way to Jesus.

The unbeliever rejects both of Jesus’ propositions. The unbeliever thinks that death is the end and that no one will ever live beyond the grave.
We must exercise believe in Jesus. We must live now trusting in Him. We must prove we trust Him now by living according to His commands. And we must love Him now by making Jesus our treasure.

That’s exactly why Jesus puts the question to Martha personally…Do YOU believe this? His desire was to extend this resurrection and eternal life to Martha as well as to her brother. Yes I believe was her response.

Beloved, just as surely as Jesus called Lazarus from the grave that day He too will call everyone who has placed their trust in Him from the grave.

Lazarus come forth! Was the command and Lazarus’ heart began to beat and he again had brain waves and blood started racing through his veins…he was alive again.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (ESV)
16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Just as Jesus shouted for Lazarus He will shout for all who belong to Him. Just like Lazarus death will release its grip and we will spring forth from the grave to meet our Lord.

With this background, we move now to John’s corresponding I Am saying in Revelation…

2. I Am the Lord Who Has Conquered Death

Let’s not forget that the same Apostle John who wrote the Gospel of John also wrote the Book of Revelation. He knew Jesus very well, as much as anyone did. Now he is seeing the risen and glorified great I AM…Please understand this is the glorified and risen Lord we too will see someday. John is so overwhelmed with this vision of Christ that he faints. His legs simply give way and he falls down to the ground in fear. Like so many times before he heard Jesus tell him…do not fear. John heard this as Jesus approached them walking on water in Matthew 14. He had also heard this on other occasions. This time the voice is the sound of many rushing waters.
Revelation 1:17-18 (ESV)
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last,
18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

We learned from John 11 that Jesus is the Lord of the Resurrection. Now, I want us to see together that Jesus has also forever conquered death for His people.

Here in this great I Am statement found in Revelation chapter 1, John reports Jesus’ words to us. The glorified Jesus says, , I am the first and the last, and the living one.

Here, Jesus in all His magnificent glory tells john the He is the eternal God. The same God Isaiah refers to…
Isaiah 41:4 (ESV)
4 Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.
There are many other references in Isaiah and in Revelation like this. They all point to the fact that Jesus is the sovereign God over all history. Our Lord is bringing John comfort in declaring that every event in history down to the most minute unnoticed second is under the power of Jesus…even His death and even His resurrection.

I died, and behold I am alive forevermore

Jesus is not only in control of all history but He is in control and has power over all death. He proclaims to John that the living One died and now is alive for evermore. In order to be Lord even over death, Jesus died. He triumphed over the forces of sin and death. His resurrection was proof that death could not hold the sinless Son of God. As He burst forth from the domain of death, in a figurative way, He grabbed the keys on His way out and has locked the door shut. All who are in Christ will never face the second death. We will forever be alive just like our Lord.

The result of Jesus’ victory over death should cause us to stand in wonder. The resurrection is the summit of the life of Christ. It stands as the mountain peak and the focus of all of Scripture. Jesus accomplished everything the Father intended. Like everything about Jesus, He did it perfectly.

The resurrection causes all of His people to rejoice. Notice what John witnessed around the Lord’s throne…
Revelation 4:8-11 (ESV)
8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

Martha rejoiced in the resurrection, Lazarus rejoiced, The Apostle Paul also rejoiced. The angels in heaven too give God glory for the resurrection. I pray we too rejoice when we read Jesus’ words, I Am the Resurrection and the Life…

 

 

 

[1] What Does It Mean to Believe In Jesus Christ? By Pastor Kelly Sensenig

 

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