Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Too often we attempt to live life in a way that ignores the reality that we are all living in a fallen world under the sentence of death. Of course, such an illusion is hard to maintain for it’s not long before reality hits. A passenger plane is shot out of the sky, war and unrest continue to break out like spot fires around the world, cherished possessions get old and stop working, and relationships with friends break down. Finally the time comes when we’re faced with the reality of our own death – or the death of a loved one – and we’re forced to look death squarely in the eye.
Recently, that time came to my own family with the death of my father earlier this month after being diagnosed with bowel cancer just three months ago. To state the obvious, the death of someone close to you hurts. Death robs us of life and love and all good things. Yet, as Christians we ought not to live life, or encourage others to live life, in a way that ignores the reality of death. Jesus’ stunning words to Martha, whose brother Lazarus had died, calls us not to a baseless hope that something good lies beyond the grave, but to a personal trust in him as the only one who can grant life to people under the sentence of death. Only by trusting in Jesus can we have our sins forgiven and face reality with rock solid hope. For those of us who have turned from our sin and trusted in Christ we see in the restoration to life of Jesus’ beloved friend Lazarus a shadow of our own resurrection to eternal life. You see, the one who cried out ‘Lazarus, come out’, will one day call for us. On that day we will step forward from the grave with transformed natures and imperishable bodies into a redeemed world where there is no more death, or mourning, or crying, or pain.
Now’s that’s a reality worth making known.