I Am The Resurrection And The Life

Bible Book: John  11 : 1-43
Subject: Life; Resurrection; Easter; Eternal Life; Salvation; Power of Jesus

John 11:1-43

Ian Macpherson in his book ‘The Burden of the Lord,’ tells us that if you visit the Egyptian section of the British Museum in London you can see a strange sight. There is a stone coffin there containing the body of an Egyptian who died three thousand years ago. Crudely embalmed but marvelously preserved in the dry sand in which it is interred, the body is still clearly visible after thirty centuries. Buried in a crouching position resembling a high question mark, the body seems to asking the centuries old question of Job, “If a man die shall he live again?” (Job 14:14) This is an old question. It is a recurring question. People still ask this question today. It is an awesome question. It is said that when Socrates the renowned Greek philosopher drank the poison hemlock and lay down to die, he was asked by his friends, ‘ Shall we live again?’ The reply of the dying philosopher was “I hope so, but no man can know.” Will there be life after death? Is there hope beyond the grave?

Thank God, that which the philosophers cannot fathom, nor the scientists explain, God had revealed in His Word. For in response to Job’s question, “If a man die shall he live again?” (Job 14:14) Job gave this testimony, “For I know that my Redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body yet in my flesh shall I see God.”  (Job 19:25-27) “ If a man die shall he live again?” Well, David says,  “ In thy presence is fullness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

(Ps 16:11) ‘ If a man die shall he live again?’ Well Paul asserts “ We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved we have a building of God, an house not made with hands eternal in the heavens.” (2 Cor 5:1) Is there hope beyond the grave? Absolutely, because Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life. A Muslim in Africa became a born-again Christian, and some of his friends asked him “ why?” He replied,  “ Well, its like this. Suppose you were going down a road and suddenly the road forked in two directions and you didn’t not know which way to go. Now if you met two men at the fork one dead and the other alive which would you ask to show the way?”

Here was our Lord Jesus Christ standing in the very presence of death and what a claim He makes. For He says, “I am the resurrection and the life he that believeth in me though he were dead, ye shall he live.” (11:25) John wrote this gospel to show his readers that Jesus Christ was the Son of God (20:30-31)  One of the ways he did this was through seven ‘ I am,’ sayings which speak of Christ’s absolute deity. You see, no mere man could have made such a claim to have mastery over death. He prefaces this awesome claim with His emphatic “ I am.” He was about to prove to Martha, Mary and the world that this was not religious rhetoric but a statement of fact. I mean can you picture this little home in Bethany just two miles outside of Jerusalem. It was in Bethany that the Lord Jesus, in effect had a second home. It was here where He relaxed and retreated from the pressures and demands of ministry. (Lk 10:38 12:1) Here was a home in which Christ felt comfortable and at ease and loved and accepted and honored and enjoyed and trusted. But into this home death had come.  My …. if you have lost a loved one, if you have gone to a graveyard and had to lower the body of your loved one into a grave you’ll understand the sorrow, the hurt, the feeling of absolute helplessness that these two sisters must have felt. But then the Master came, and the Lord Jesus confronted death, He challenged death, He conquered death.

Indeed He shows us in this statement and in this miracle what would happen every person who believes on Him, that just as Lazarus came forth from the dead, those who believe on Christ would have eternal life and we would come forth from the dead as well. Now enshrined in this amazing claim there are three simple truths. First of all, notice here,


For is Death not Inscrutable? I mean is there is not something mysterious, baffling, puzzling about death? Now when Christ uses the word ‘ dead,’ in (11:25) He is speaking of those who are dead physically. We could translate it, “He that believes in me even if he has died and been laid in the grave like thy brother shall yet live and be raised again through my power.” You see, we all have a common problem today, unless Christ returns first we are all going to die. There is an old song that says, “I will never get out of this world alive.” And guess what you won’t. We are all terminally ill. We don’t like to hear that. Every time we talk about death we change the subject like switching channels on the television. The next time you are out socially and sitting around a table say to them, “Let’s talk about death,” do you see the reaction you’ll get.

Steve Brown a Christian author and speaker was on a flight from Miami to Los Angeles. He noticed that many folks on the plane had come from a cruise in the Caribbean and the party continued on the flight. However sitting across from him, Steve noticed a young woman and she was having physical problems. A flight attendant asked if there was a doctor on board and three doctors rushed to her side and worked with the woman but despite their efforts she died right there on the plane. The mood changed immediately, and the plane made an emergency landing in Dallas, where they took the body off the plane.

When they took off again, Steve told one of the attendants, “I’m a preacher, and if you need me to talk to anyone on the plane about what has just happened I would be happy to be of help.” The flight attendant replied, “Oh that won’t be necessary we’ve already talked about it and we have decided to give everyone free drinks all the way to Los Angeles, so they won’t have to think about it.” Is this not how folk deal with death? They don’t want to think about it, but If Jesus Christ does not come I am going to die, you are going to die. We don’t like to face death but it’s a reality. You see,


Here was an ordinary family living in an ordinary place and death visits this lovely family who endeared themselves to the Lord Jesus. (11:5) Lazarus was now dead (11:14) and as far as Mary and Martha were concerned their world had fallen apart. My …. death invades our homes and brings with it division, discouragement, disillusionment and defeat. When someone dies we are literally ripped apart. Visitors to the Fiji Islands tell of a strange custom of “ calling to the dead.” The one who has suffered bereavement climbs to a high tree or cliff and after mentioning the name of the deceased he cries our pathetically “ Come back, come back.” The heartrending wail is filled with despair with only the mocking echoes to underscore its sad frustration. Those of you who have recently lost a precious companion, a dear friend, or even a little child can well appreciate the forlorn figure. Can you imagine the look on his face as with tears streaming down his cheeks he pitifully continues to plead for the return of his loved one.

You see, death simply means separation. Physical death is the separation of the body from the soul. Spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God. Eternal death is the separation of both soul and body from God in hell for all eternity. Do you know what makes death so unhappy? If you die without Christ for then in hell you will life up your eyes being in torments. (a) 


For death enters into the home of the saved and the unsaved alike for “ it is appointed unto men once to die but after this the judgment.” (Heb 9:27) I mean what a home this was. A home where Christ was welcomed, loved and honored. I wonder is your home a Bethany home? Is it a home where God’s Son is welcomed, God’s Word is honored, God’s cause is loved, and God’s people are received? What about you young couples who have just got married. What kind of home do you want? Oh you say ‘ we want a home full of joy, and love and happiness,’ sure but do you want a Bethany home? A home where Christ will be present, powerful and  pre-eminent. Can you see this home? It was a home that loved Christ and that Christ loved (11:5) yet into this home death comes. 

You see, death is not only a reality, death is universal. One day whether we like it or not, or whether we believe it or not we shall die. My…. do you realize that death is getting steadily closer to you every minute of the day? Do you see that one day your time will run out? Someone has mathematically calculated a schedule that compares the average lifetime with a single day, beginning at 7am in the morning. If your age is,

15, the time is 10.25am

25, the time is 12.42 pm

35, the time is 3.00pm

45, the time is 5.16pm

55, the time is 7.34pm

65, the time is 9.55pm

70, the time is 11.00pm

Do you know something? Its latter than you think. No wonder the Bible says, “behold now is the accepted time behold now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor 6:2)


Martha and Mary probably thought that Lazarus would recover from his sickness and that everything would return to normal, but death had other ideas. Even though we know that death is coming it still seems to take us all by surprise. According to an old fable a man made an unusual agreement with death. He told the grim reaper that he would willingly accompany him when he came to die, but only one condition. That death would send a messenger well in advance to warn him. The agreement was made. Weeks winged away into months, and months into years. Then one bitter evening, as the man sat alone thinking about all his material possessions, death suddenly entered the room and tapped him on the shoulder. The man was startled and cried out in despair, “You’re here so soon and without warning. I thought we had an agreement.”

Death replied, “I’ve more than kept my part. I’ve sent you many messengers. Look at yourself in the mirror and you’ll see some of them.” As the man complied Death whispered, “Notice your hair. Once it was full and black, now it is thin and white. Look at the way you cock your head to listen to my voice because you cannot hear very well. Observe how close you must get to the mirror in order to see yourself clearly. Yes I have sent my messengers through the years. I have kept my part. It’s too bad you did not keep yours. I’m sorry you are not ready for me, but the time has come to leave.”

My …. will death sneak up on you and catch you unprepared? Will death find you unsaved? Unwashed? Not ready for the great eternity? Do you recall that rich farmer? He probably had been to Balmoral Show. He had seen the new implements, and the new machinery and he had come home with great ideas. He said, “I will pull down barns and build greater, and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.” (Lk 12:18) But death came and found him unprepared and he launched out into the great eternity without Christ.

The Bible says, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” (Prov 27:1) The Bible says, “What is your life? It is even a vapour that appeareth for a little while and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14) What if death knocked at your door this ….? What if the last enemy whispered in your ear, “the time has come for you to leave.” Would you be ready? Would you be prepared? Are you saved? Is your faith in Christ and in Christ alone? (1)


For is Christ not Incomparable? For in the very stench of death Christ says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (11:25) My …. do you see the uniqueness of Christ? I mean no one else could utter these words. Not the disciples, the sisters of Lazarus or the religious leaders could speak like this. Only Jesus Christ could say ‘ I am the resurrection and the life,’ for here the Lord Jesus takes ones of the distinctive names of God and applies it to Himself. Why? Because He is God. (Ex 3:14) Now when did did Christ make this claim? Well, it was not made after He rose from the dead. It was made before that. Our Lord Jesus Christ is not the resurrection because He rose from the dead. He rose from the dead because He is the resurrection. Now what did our Lord mean by these  words? I think two things. He was conveying by these words that,


You see, He declared His purpose when He said “ I am the resurrection and the life.” It means that Christ is in the business of doing the same thing today that He did when He was on this earth. What did He do when He was on this earth? He changed lives. Do you look at your life this ….. and say “ I need to change some things in my life.” Do you look at your life and say “ what I really need is life. I am not living I am just existing. My life is just a treadmill over and over again and I ask my self is this all there is to life?” My …. the answer is no, for the Lord Jesus said, “I am come that ye might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:10) Do you know why there is an emptiness, a void in your life? It’ because you are not saved, you don’t know Christ. My …. life does not begin at 40, life begins at Calvary. Christ not only came to add years to your life, He came to add life to your years. He came to give you life and life more abundant. He says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” My …. you may be existing, drawing your breath and drawing your salary, but you are not living. Indeed the Bible says you are dead in trespasses and in sins.

I think about Lazarus who had been dead for four days. Some folk think today that what they need is Education. Well, Lazarus did not need an education, he was dead. Education was not going to help him. I mean you could put him in the classroom with the best teacher in the world and Lazarus was not going to be changed one bit. He did not need education, he needed resurrection. Some folk think that what they need today is Pleasure. Well, you could roll old Lazarus’ corpse into a room where they were having a party and it would not affect Lazarus one bit. He would not have any joy from that. He was dead.  He did not need a teacher, he needed life. He did not need a clown he needed life and the only giver of life is Jesus Christ and the Bible says, “He that hath the Son hath life.” (1 Jn 5:12) Do you know something? When you trust Christ you find a purpose, a meaning, a destiny and you really begin to live because the One who is the resurrection and the life is living in you and through you. 


He said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” Not I was, not I can be, not I will be. I am. And when He said, “I am,” He spoke of the power. I want to tell you, that there is only one power in the world that can raise the dead, that has ever raised the dead and it is the power demonstrated in the resurrection of Jesus Christ when He came out of that tomb.

1. Think of this Power in Relation to the Savior

The Lord Jesus raised others from the dead. There was Jairus’s daughter (Mk 5:41) the widow of Nain’s son (Lk 7:11) and Lazarus (11:43-44) Christ proved His power over death by raising these people from the dead. But what about His own resurrection? Sure, if the story ended with His horrible death on Calvary that would have been a tragedy “ but up from the grave He arose.” My …. the leaders of the so called religions of this world are dead but Jesus Christ is alive and “ He is able to save to the uttermost …. seeing He ever liveth.” (Heb 7:25) My …. there is a living Savior for you!

2. Think of this Power in Relation to the Sinner

For the Lord Jesus says, “He that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live.” I mean can not take those words also as Christ imparting spiritual life to those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Some years ago Dr. Walter Wilson was officiating at a funeral service. He decided to travel to the cemetery with the undertaker in the hearse. As they journeyed along the preacher said to the driver a young man about 30 years of age. What do you suppose the Bible means when it says, “let the dead bury the dead.” The young driver replied, “there is not a verse like that in the Bible,” but the Doctor assured him that there was. The driver said, “Surely it must be a wrong translation, how could a dead person bury a dead person?” The preacher explained to him by pointing out that the dead undertaker in the front of the hearse was driving out to the graveyard to bury his dead friend at the back of the hearse. The Doctor said, “that person is dead to his family and you are dead to God.” The conversation resulted in the man trusting Christ. Have you discovered that you are dead spiritually? That you are dying physically? That without Christ you will die eternally? But Christ has the power to impart new life to you. 

3. Think of this Power in Relation to the Saint:

For these words in (11:25) can be explained like this. “ He that believes in me, even he has died and been laid in the grave, shall yet live and be raised again through my power.”  Does that not refer to the resurrection of dead saints? Then Christ immediately revealed the added truth that some believers would never die and it is a double negative, “never, never die.” Does that not refer to the rapture of living saints? How is this possible? The answer is found in Paul’s words, “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout …. and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air ….,” (1 Thes 4:16-17) Tell me, will you be there for that moment in the air? Listen, here is a person like no other. Can you tell me anyone like the Lord Jesus? Christ died that you might live, Christ lives that you might never die.


For is Life not Invaluable? For Christ speaks of “ living, and never dying.” Can you see here,


“ And whosoever ….,”

It does not matter whether you are young or old, learned or illiterate, Catholic or Protestant, orange or green, rich or poor, religious or rebellious. If you come to Christ, acknowledging your sin and turning from it, accept Christ by faith you’ll live. Personally. Spiritually. Eternally.


Do you see what Christ says? “He that believeth,” The Bible says, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31) That is, trust Christ alone for your soul’s salvation. For faith in Christ is the prerequisite we must have to obtain the resurrection and the life which Christ gives. You see,

1. Works will never get the job done

For the Bible says, “… for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Gal 2:16)

2. Turning over a new leaf will never get the job done

For the Bible says, “God requireth that which is past.” (Eccl 3:15)

3. Religion will never get the job done

For you could be all rolled up in religion and die and go to hell. (Titus 3:5)

You see, when you come to trust Christ, you’ll discover that the job is already done. On the Cross Christ cried “ It is finished.” (Jn 19:30) The work is done, the price is paid, the blood is shed, and all you have to do is to appropriate the finished work of Christ for yourself. My …. are you stumbling at the simplicity of the gospel? Can you see the (a) (b) But don’t miss,


There’s a note of certainty about it. “And whosoever believeth in me shall never, never die.” That is, the Lord Jesus guarantees eternal life, life without end. A mother was answering her young daughter’s questions about her Daddy’s death. “God sent for him,” she explained, “and someday he will send for you and me, nobody knows just when.” Thinking about that for a moment the little girl said, “Momma if we don’t know for sure when God is going to send for us we might not be ready. We’d better start packing.” Was she not right? You see, not one of us knows when God is going to “send for us,” but we do know how “to start packing.” We do know how to be ready. Christ is the answer. The question is “ Believest thou this?” Think of the word,

THIS: Do you believe that Christ has the power to give you eternal life and keep you from hell?

THOU: This was aimed at Martha, but who is Christ speaking to tonight? Is He singling you out?

BELIEVEST: Don’t sign, don’t pay, don’t do, just believe.

My …. this is all that matters tonight. There is Hope beyond the Grave. For Christ is the resurrection and the life. Receive Him and Heaven will your home. Reject Him and Hell will be your destiny. What will you do then with Jesus which is called Christ? How will you answer? “Believest thou this?”