Reader: “I am the resurrection . . .”
Response: “and the life.”
Scripture: John 11:25-27
Jesus said to her, “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?”
“Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”
Reader: This is the word of the Lord.
Response: Thanks be to God.
No more glorious words have been spoken since the beginning of language. Is there life after death? Without a doubt! Jesus’ words couldn’t be clearer. Believe in him and live on, even when your earthly physical body doesn’t! You’ll get one that won’t ever die. You’ll recall when Jesus was a baby, Mary and Joseph took him to the old priest Simeon. Do you remember Simeon’s words about his own death? They were, “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace.” He didn’t say “die in peace.” On the Mount of Transfiguration the same word was used in speaking of Jesus’ “departure” from this earth. Our bodies are simply transformed. When we die, we simply depart from this body. This is the same “I AM” who spoke to Moses in the burning bush, the Good Shepherd, the Light of the World, the Way, the Truth and the Life. The power of Christ is not only resurrection but also eternal life. Martha’s comment from yesterday’s passage that “everyone rises on the last day” told us she was thinking only of the final judgment day. As we have mentioned several times. Most of the time Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man. Here Martha refers to him as the Son of God, believing in his divinity. Even at that, she did not fully grasp his power over life and death. Jesus and Martha were thinking on two different levels. Martha was thinking the biggest, end picture. Jesus’ thinking comprehended both the end but also its impact on the present circumstance. Martha did what so many of us do; we think of the grand story of God and fail to grasp its impact on the present situation. That Martha hadn’t understood what Jesus was getting at is evidenced by her comment about not wanting to open the tomb because “he will stink!” We need to roll the stone away from our theological tombs more often and see the power of our great Savior working in the world in which we live right now!
Music: “In Christ Alone” All Souls Orchestra Kristin Getty Glorious
This is a picture of the Body of Christ! The Brits sing again!
In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All, here in the love of Christ I stand
In Christ alone, who took on flesh, fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness, scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid, here in the death of Christ I live
There in the ground His body lay, light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day, up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ
No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand
‘til He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand
You are God and we praise you; you are the Lord and we acclaim you; You are the eternal Father; all creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, cherubim and seraphim sing in endless praise, ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might; heaven and earth are full of your glory.’ Throughout the whole world the holy church acclaims you, Father of majesty unbounded; Your true and only Son worthy of all worship and the Holy Spirit advocate and guide. Come then Lord and help your people bought with the price of your own blood; and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting. Amen. ― from Te Deum, 4th century