A close friend of Jesus our Savior was named God-helps (Lazarus) who came from a town called Affliction (Bethany). He died. He had two sisters, Obstinacy (Mary) and Mistress (Martha). They too were close friends of Jesus. The healing of Lazarus (John 11:1-45) includes vision for the here and now, not just the future. When speaking to Martha, he did not say that he would be the resurrection on that final day, although he certainly will be that too. He spoke in the present tense, “I AM the resurrection and the life.” Could it be that when we believe in Jesus, we already enter from death to life? We live in Affliction of death. God helps. We no longer need to fear death, because when we believe in him who is life, we have life too.
What a great claim to divinity that Jesus has the power over resurrection and life! Notice that he said “am” and not “will be.” He personalizes resurrection in himself. That could have been a clue about what was to take place. Jesus demonstrated his authority over life and death by raising Lazarus. The one who believes in Jesus, even though dying like all human beings, will live. He will never die. The body may die, but the spirit lives on received into heavenly places. The resurrection of Lazarus is a mere temporary sample of what Jesus will do for all believers after death of the body. We may seem dead at times. Our hopes and dreams may seem to be dashed. Jesus promises life to all who put their trust, not in this world, but in him.
From the moment we are born, our destiny is the grave. It is as if we are already wearing grave clothes, a depressing thought, which occupies the back of our minds all our lives.
Science has sent men to the moon and given us artificial limbs, but it has yet to solve the problem of death. Our planet will not be here forever, nor will our bodies. Death is the last and greatest enemy of human life and human civilization.
God has given us the solution, but humanity has rejected God. We have run away from the only solution to our problems. Jesus Christ died to reconcile God and humanity. He offers us a way beyond the grave.
How is it possible never to die? If we are only made up of a physical component the body, this does not make sense. But we are also composed of a spiritual component. When we discard the body, our earthly transportation, we return to our Maker's care. He offers us eternal joy with him.
If we have faith in Jesus Christ and the resurrection, why do we live such hopeless existence. Let us look forward to joy beyond the trials and heartaches of this life. Let us take off the grave clothes and live!