John 11:24-27 (AMP) Martha replied, “I know that he will rise [from the dead] in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, relies on) Me [as Savior] will live even if he dies; and everyone who lives and believes in Me [as Savior] will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed and continue to believe that You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of God, He who was [destined and promised] to come into the world [and it is for You that the world has waited].”
Today is Easter. Historically, this could very well be considered the most wonderful day in the life of a believer. Our relationship with God the Father relies completely on the fact that Jesus died on the Cross for our sins AND absolutely requires His Resurrection on the third day to complete the redemption process and administration of grace to us all. It is here that right standing with God was restored and His Children able to come to Him boldly and confidently. Resurrection life gave way to the same kind of power in us. Christ in us is the very essence of the kind of power that God used to raise His Son from the dead to new life again. This is the power given to us on a regular basis. As faith is sown into our relationship with Jesus Christ, the yield is resurrection power infusing every bit of our being and existence.
While steaming the wrinkles from pristine and new white pants I will wear to church today, I couldn’t help but laugh at all the preparations for this day. Easter is a big church day. People who have not been to service in the past year will don the doors once again. New clothes. Fresh haircuts. Fancy Bibles. All the adornment of Christianity yet many will leave still leaving in dark despair and hopelessness. They will keep reaching for a Heaven that is on the other side of death and never experience the Kingdom meant for us today.
Why is that? Martha believed in her heart the truth of the resurrection of the dead. She absolutely trusted that in the last day – believers would have new life. Jesus tells her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me will live even if he dies; and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” Can we stop right here for just a moment to ponder this exchange? There is more to the lesson that is often missed in our inability to apply practical faith in our everyday life. Martha was religious. She knew the Word of God so far and followed the Living Word before her. Sometimes in our journey through this life to eternity, we miss the Living Word because our head and heart can only comprehend the thinkable. It is unthinkable for a dead human (three days dead and in a tomb) to breathe again. It is not natural. It is impossible. It is here where our mind wanders to make the end plausible. Hopeful still in our tragic brokenness. We do not wait or believe for the third day because our faith dies with our way. We settle for earthly outcomes because our impatience will not allow us to believe that His Word is for this life, these problems, and all the impossibles that rise up to meet us. Friend, Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life for today.
What does that even mean? Practical faith must take God at His Word after the outcome seems secure. Lazarus was dead. He was buried. He was secured. It was over. Jesus was too late. Martha was trying to hold to her hope. She was trying to gather the tidbits of faith remaining to plant something in His Presence. Jesus was trying to tell her. It’s not over. It’s not finished. There is more…
She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed and continue to believe that You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of God, He who was [destined and promised] to come into the world [and it is for You that the world has waited].”
The person of Jesus Christ changes everything. As long as you are alive, His Unfailing Love and Goodness are pursuing you. He will never ever stop the work begun in you the moment you believed. It is up to us to work on practical faith in all impractical situations. Today, I need some things from Jesus for today, tomorrow, next week and next year if He doesn’t call me home. I need to be renewed. I need to be restored. I need to be revived. I need some things that are dead and buried to be resurrected in my life. I need to bury the fears, doubt and insecurities in the empty tomb and roll back the stone. Today is a day for new hope. New dreams. New visions. New strength. New vitality. Salvation. Healing. Deliverance. Whatever you need today is not something to wait for but reach out and take from Your Risen Savior.
Do not let the significance of today – Resurrection Day – pass you by! We all need something from our Savior – the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords – He is our life giver. Life completer. Life fulfiller. He is the Resurrection and the Life – yesterday, today and forever. We do not have to wait on Kingdom living until the moment after our death. The Kingdom of God is at hand. It is within our reach. It is the hope that is held tightly to. Celebrate Jesus today! He has something for you today. Jesus will resurrect the faith of those who desire to live an extraordinary life here and now. You just have to want it. Even a simple response like Martha will release it – she didn’t really understand what the Lord was saying or the implications of His Words – but Martha believed in Jesus! That is all that was needed for a miracle that day! Maybe today is your day for a miracle…just say, “Jesus! I believe…”