Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I am the Resurrection and the Life

There is a story in the Bible about some friends of Jesus: a man, and his two sisters.

Word came to Jesus that this man was very sick, close to death. And Jesus, the compassionate one, the healer, the true friend, stayed where he was for two days. And then it took two more days to get to the house of his friend. So, by the time Jesus got there, the man had been dead for four days. He was dead, buried, and rotting in the grave. (Orin his case, in a cave with a big rock in front of it.)

The sisters approached Jesus separately, but their response to Jesus was essentially the same. “Our brother is dead. You have healed the sick. You have given sight to the blind, and the crippled can walk. If you were here on time our brother would still be alive.”

And Jesus’ response was essentially the same to each. “I am the resurrection and the life.”

The sisters believed God would raise the dead at the end of the age. At that time, he would judge everyone, those still alive and those who had died. The wicked would go to eternal punishment. The righteous would go into God’s presence, and eternal reward. Both were judged by how well, how completely, they obeyed the Law. The righteous obtained reward by obeying the law. The wicked obtained punishment by its disobedience of the Law.

And Jesus know that it was impossible, because no one could keep the Law. And God sent him to be a bridge. Jesus had power over life and death. Jesus had authority to bring the dead into God’s presence. It all goes through him.

And to show that that was true, he went to the grave of his friend, dead four days, already decaying, and called him out of the grace. Life was restored. His physical body was restored. And he walked out of the grave.

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