"I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. “
(John 11:25-26 ESV)
This is one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture. In it, we find the hope of Easter. Jesus speaks to us, in this passage, about our hope of eternal life.
Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, had died. And when Jesus came, his sisters approached Jesus with a comment that often causes us to struggle. They told him that, had he been there, their brother would not have died.
These women knew Jesus’ power to heal. And they had summoned Jesus in hope that he might come and heal him. However, because Jesus delayed in coming, Lazarus had died.
However, Jesus assured them that death was not the end for Lazarus. He told them that he is the resurrection. In other words, he is the source of the resurrection. He has power over life and death.
He went on to tell them that, if we believe in him, we will live even though we die. He said that everyone who lives and believes in him will never die. Through faith in him, we receive life eternal.
Once again, this is the hope of Easter. We know that, unless we’re here when the Lord returns, we’ll all taste death. We’ve each watched friends and loved ones who’ve grown old and passed, or those of any age who have fallen ill and passed. And what hope it offers to know that this does not mark the end.
Their death does not mean that God has failed them. It doesn’t mean that he’s failed us. We know this because, through Christ, we have life eternal.
For this reason, we need not fear death. Few of us look forward to death. Few of us long to suffer. However, even in the face of this, we know that there is something more. We know that something greater awaits us.
We know this because of Jesus. He revealed it to Lazarus’ sisters by raising him from the dead. And he’s revealed it to us through his own death and resurrection. We see from this his power over death. We see his power to grant life.
We know that, when we die, we’ll depart to be with the Lord. But, more than that, we know that, one day, we’ll also rise from the grave. We know that, at the return of Christ, our bodies will rise that they might dwell in his presence for all eternity.
Believing this, death no longer leaves us in despair. When our time comes, we can pass away in confidence. And when our believing loved ones pass, we have assurance that their life continues on.
May this truth encourage each of us in times of mourning. May it encourage us in times of suffering. May be confidently trust that, even if we die, we will live. May we trust that, through faith in Christ, we will never die.