Jesus in Present Tense – The Resurrection and the Life
“. . . I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live . . .” John 11:25
These words were spoken in the midst of the heartbreaking agony of loss and death. The little house in Bethany had so often been a retreat for Jesus. It now became a morgue of gloom. Lazarus had died, there was deep grief of family and friends, hysterical wailing and shrieking filled the house.
Jesus was late. Mary and Martha believed Lazarus would still be alive if only Jesus had come sooner. Circumstances didn’t allow for any other explanation. Have you ever felt as Martha did? “Lord, where were you?” Where were you when my marriage dissolved? Where were you when my parents divorced? Where were you when my father was drinking? Where were you when I lost my job? Where were you when I lost my child? Being honest with God is complicated by believing that “good Christians” don’t complain, but we have to cry out, He’s our only hope.
Jesus was so deeply moved that an involuntary gasp was wrung from His heart. He felt their sorrow with everything He had. People and their problems have a place in God’s presence.
In this dark setting of loss, Jesus gives us one of His most glorious titles. It’s the crown jewel of Jesus’ “I AM” statements. It’s a radiant expression of Jesus’ authority over life and death. These dramatic words were spoken to one who had been dead four days and smelled of human death. The stench permeated even the house.
In one of the most climatic moments of Bible narrative, Jesus calls to Lazarus, “Lazarus come out” and the dead man came forth from the tomb still wrapped in grave clothes, but now filled with the breath of life.
There was another resurrection – Jesus’ own. There was a day when Jesus was in a tomb, hearts were heavy, the disciples depressed and defeated, death had claimed Him and snuffed out their hope. But the fog lifted from Calvary, and news spread like wildfire, “He has risen!” Despair turned to delight, tragedy turned to triumph, the victim was now the victor. He is the resurrection.
Today, in Your presence, Lord, I expose my deepest doubts, my greatest struggles. I confess I believe in You. In this present tense and forever, You are my Resurrection and my Life.