John 11:23-26, 38-45
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
This is the last and greatest sign that Jesus gives to show he is the Messiah; from healing a boy near death, to healing a man lame for 38 years, to healing a man blind from birth, to raising a man from death. And as the previous signs showed that Jesus is the great physician, the bread of life, and the light of the world, this sign shows he is the resurrection and the life. Jesus has shown his power over creation, over disease and sickness, and over death itself. What an amazing Savior! What more can he do? What more can he give?
Jesus tells Martha that if she believes, she will see the glory of God. Don’t focus on the corpse, dear Martha, focus on me, the resurrection and the life. Soon Jesus would begin the journey that would lead to his followers viewing another corpse, his own, and wondering why he couldn’t save himself, after saving so many others from disease and death. Ah, but Jesus would save many by his death. As Caiaphas unknowingly prophesied, “Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation, but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one,” (John 11:51-52).
What more can Jesus give? He gave himself, a perfect and complete sacrifice for sin. And now, even death can hold no terror for the believer. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die. (John Donne)