Read His Words Before Ours!
I know this because I was dead, but Jesus called me back to life. But let me not get ahead. This story is too important to rush.
My sister, Martha, invited a great Teacher to our home. My other sister, Mary, sat at His feet and soaked up His words. I also listened intently. He was different from any other teacher or Rabbi I’d ever heard. He spoke and taught with such authority; I now understand His authority came from Yahweh (John 17:1-2). I could never have dreamed of the Messiah, in our home. But there He sat, befriending us.
Sometime later, I fell ill, but my sisters were not worried. They assured me, “We’ll call Jesus. He will take care of you.”
Our ancestor David wrote, “Put your hope in the LORD, both now and forever.” (Psalm 131:3)
So we did. My sisters sent for Jesus (John 11:3), believing if anyone could save me, He could. But as we waited, I felt my life slipping away. I hoped my sisters’ faith would survive my death. At the time, I couldn’t foresee His plan, but it turns out, He was working something far greater than my immediate healing.
My sisters tell me they were in great despair, wondering why Jesus had not come right away. I grappled with the same questions as I took my last breaths, until I remembered the words of the prophet Isaiah,
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
and your ways are not my ways.’
This is the Lord’s declaration.” (Isaiah 55:8)
In my final moments, these words brought me peace.
On the fourth day after my death, Jesus finally arrived and made the most curious statement to Martha.
“I am the resurrection and the life.
The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.” (John 11:25)
You see, around this time, Sadducees in my town were bickering with everyone, especially Jesus, about the impossibility of resurrection. (Mark 12:18-27) Yet, in blatant contradiction to their assertions, Jesus declared not only is there a resurrection, but the resurrection is Him!
I’m told He continued to surprise my sisters and their many comforters by weeping
in front of everyone, alongside them in their grief.
Imagine the Messiah
for my death.
I am still moved to tears just thinking about it.
Jesus instructed them to roll the stone away and proceeded to pray for the people watching to believe Yahweh sent Him. Then, He called me to arise.
I know, it sounds crazy. But if Elisha, a prophet, could receive power from God to raise the Shunamite’s son from the dead, why should we doubt the power of the Son of God to raise me? (2 Kings 4:8-37)
Through the darkness, I clearly heard Jesus, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43)
At His words, I awakened to find myself wrapped in grave clothes with strips of linen over my eyes. Despite my bindings, I moved toward His voice, longing to see His face again.
I walked into the bright light and heard Jesus’ command, “Unwrap him and let him go”.
So my life began again!
By His words, I was resurrected. The One Who is the Resurrection spoke me into life; in that moment, I became a living testimony to the glory of God: a proclamation of His power, greatness, and wondrous works. (Psalm 145:3-6)
My testimony came at a cost. Because He displayed His great power, many of the leaders wanted to kill Jesus. They also plotted against me, because my resurrected life inspired many to believe in Jesus, the Messiah (John 12:9-11)
In fact, the new life He gave me accelerated His death. Just before Passover, my sister Mary anointed His feet with expensive perfume and, to our confusion, He indicated it was for His burial. (John 12:1-7) Six days later, I realized it was the beginning of His journey to the cross.
I despised that cross at first. My testimony pointed to His glory, but in the wake of His death, my new life seemed empty and pointless.
But on the third day after He died,
His gravestone was also rolled away.
He was also resurrected.
But He needed no one to call Him out of the grave.
God Incarnate raised Himself from death to life.
He was dead, then alive forever, holding the keys to death and Hades. (Revelation 1:18)
My resurrection had been a small foreshadow of His.
Jesus was truly, “The First and the Last, and the Living One”. (Revelation 1:17)
My brokenness made whole, gave others the chance to live forever with Him. It can do the same for you if you believe in Him, the Resurrection and the Life.
My sisters, believe, and live forever!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!