The Resurrection and the Life

Key Verse: “Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”
—John 11:25, New King James Version

Selected Scripture:
John 11:17-27,38-44

THE WORDS OF JESUS in our Key Verse break through the gloom and dread of our certain mortality and give us hope. Our Lord assures us that, though we may die, we shall live, through the means of the resurrection of the dead. Most assuredly, death shall be conquered. All who are in the grave will be freed from its bonds, and come forth.

One of the first insinuations of the resurrection in Scripture is found in the words of the psalmist, as he revels in the vastness of God’s infinite knowledge and omnipotence. “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell [Hebrew: sheol, the grave], behold, You are there” (Ps. 139:7,8, NKJV) There is no escaping God’s awareness of us or his influence over us. The last part of verse 8 is intriguing. If one is to make their bed in “sheol” [the grave], God is there! He is there for the purpose of seeing to their resurrection when the appointed hour comes, and none shall be left behind.

Jesus spoke of this time. “I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. … Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”—John 5:25-29, English Standard Version

Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and earth. (Matt. 28:18) “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.” (John 5:22, NKJV) How marvelous that the time is coming when all in their graves will hear Jesus’ voice and come forth. He is the resurrection and the life! Those who have done good, rendering obedience to God, come from the grave and are rewarded with life. Those who have done evil receive a resurrection of judgment—that is, a resurrection involving a process of education in what is right and wrong, and the application of discipline to cause a change in behavior.

The context of our Key Verse recalls Jesus’ interaction with Martha. Her brother Lazarus had recently died. “Now 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 of 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 at the last day. Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.”—John 11:21-25, NKJV

Life after death, the universal desire of mankind, is no ephemeral wish. As surely as Jesus died on the cross and was raised the firstborn from the dead, so surely will all mankind be blessed through his loving sacrifice. Love compelled Jesus to die for us. Love will be victorious over death. Jesus is rightfully epitomized as “the resurrection and the life.”