Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” —John 11:21–26 (ESV)
Jesus was good friends with set of siblings, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. When Lazarus became sick, Mary and Martha asked Jesus to come and help. Jesus delayed his visit, Lazarus dies, and by the time Jesus makes it to his tomb, Lazarus has been dead for four days.
Understandably, then, in today’s passage Martha expresses regret that Jesus had not been there, for if he had, she feels Lazarus wouldn’t have died. Notice the faith implicit in her statement! And then Jesus’ reply is so good: “Your brother will rise again.” Martha affirms that Lazarus will rise on ‘the last day’, a reference to the distant future day of judgment. But Jesus did not mean that resurrection. Even so, Jesus declares, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” If you know the story at all, you know that it ends with Jesus calling into the tomb: “Lazarus, come forth,” at which command the dead man rises!
Martha was correct that there will be a resurrection of the dead in the future: all those who have believed in Jesus will live, though they die! Jesus is the resurrection and the life! And in a demonstration of his claim, Jesus does in fact raise Lazarus, his friend, from the dead. John reports that many who witnessed this event believed in Jesus. It’s no wonder! Walk today in the life that you have in Jesus Christ.