I Am the Resurrection and the Life

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” … “I am the resurrection and the life. 
Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live … .”
(John 11:25)

Who Is Jesus?

Grief … the debilitating, agonizing, heart-wrenching feelings of losing someone. Martha, through her tears, beseeched Jesus, and yet, still asked, “Why, why didn’t you come when we asked?” Her faith was deep and she believed that Jesus could have, would have, healed Lazarus. If only He had come when she asked. 

Can we read between the lines and see Jesus gently lifting Martha’s chin, looking into her eyes with understanding and compassion, feeling her pain, and, even though knowing what He was about to do, saying, “I am the resurrection and the life. Do you believe?” He did not rebuke her for asking, “Why?” He experienced her grief with her, but with a depth that she could not possibly understand. In a loving and comforting way, He simply asked, “Do you know who I am?” And she answered, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” 

But she still did not fully comprehend that He is the resurrection and the life. Jesus has power over death. And He is life. Believers know that through Him we have life, everlasting life. 

The weight of everything that Jesus was facing — not only the immediate grief and sadness He shared with Martha and Mary, but also His crucifixion, the overwhelming grief, and bewilderment that He knew His followers, closest friends, and family would encounter, the inability of humans to understand the enormity of His mission — culminated in verse 35 when “Jesus wept.”

This past year has brought untold grief to many. Knowing we will see our loved ones in heaven is a promise we claim. But Jesus showed in this passage the comfort that He gives while we are waiting for that glorious day. He wraps His loving arms around us, and we can share our grief with Him. He is strong and can handle whatever questions we have. With gentleness, understanding, and compassion. 

That’s who our Jesus is.


Janis Aston is a retired elementary school music teacher. She is Design Editor for the Rivers of Rhythm Curriculum for our new National Museum of African American Music. Janis and Don, members of NFBC since 1984, married 47 years, have one daughter, Somerlie (Jared), and two wonderful grandchildren, Jordan (10) and Asher (8). 



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