Jesus comes out…just before Lazarus does.
John #58 John 11.25-26
Just before Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, he comes out and says something quite incredible. This is the fifth time in John's gospel Jesus has made such a declaration by starting with I AM. Each of his I AM statements harken back to when God sent Moses to demand the release of the Israelites from Pharaoh, and God described himself as I AM to convey that He always was, always is and always will be. First in John 6.35 ~ “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. v.35 Only Jesus satisfies. And then in John 8 ~“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” v. 12 And do you remember the picture of the shepherd, lying in front of the sheepfold, literally acting as the gatekeeper of the sheep? “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture”. John 10:9 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 ~ Note: when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, there will be no going back for him. This final act clinches the decision for the Jewish leaders--Jesus must be eliminated. We see Jesus moving closer to ‘laying down his life for his sheep.’ And now that Jesus has come to Bethany, Martha looks into Jesus’ eyes, desperately looking for hope, not knowing that what he would tell her would change everything about death—not just for Lazarus, but for all who believed: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26 In this one statement, Jesus gives us the hope of forever. He draws the distinction between physical death which is temporary and spiritual death which is eternal. Notice that he ends his promise with a question—“do you believe this?” For indeed, eternal life is promised to those who believe in him. Here's the question to you: Do you believe this? I submit to you that if you do indeed believe this, it is time to really live! Do whatever it takes to live a fully free life, walking with Jesus, now and forevermore! Wait! Do you need some fortitude to live out that choice? Stand on the power of this word: I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH. philippians 4.13 Christine