by Rev Haraneath Singh, Pastor, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Singapore
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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’ (John 11:25,26a).
Read John 11:17–27
Jesus’ resurrection is the most important event in human history! No other person in history has risen from the dead to live forever. Jesus’ resurrection is therefore proof that he is God Almighty. Jesus’ resurrection is also proof that God has accepted his sacrifice for our sins. In Lent we remember the love of God that is poured out through Jesus on the cross in his death and defeat of death, sin and Satan through his resurrection.
In today’s verse, Jesus is declaring to Martha, whose brother had died, that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Martha believed that Jesus could have healed her brother who was sick, because she had seen and heard about Jesus healing others. Even though he loved Lazarus, Jesus purposely delayed going to Martha’s house after he heard Lazarus was sick. While Jesus was still travelling, Lazarus died. Martha and Mary must have been deeply disappointed. When he finally arrived, they said to him, ‘Lord, if you have been here Lazarus would not have died’.
God’s delays are not his denials. Jesus delayed his arrival at Martha and Mary’s house so that he could reveal himself further to them. He wanted to show them that he is not only the healer of all ills, but also the resurrection and the life. He is the only one who has and can conquer death.
Jesus proved that he is the resurrection and the life when he raised Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus had been dead for four days and had started to decompose, however, that was not an obstacle for our Lord Jesus. He commanded Lazarus to come out of the tomb. Lazarus was brought to life and came out of the tomb. Martha and Mary saw the power of our Lord Jesus over death and were comforted to have their brother alive again.
We who believe in Jesus by his grace, also experience a spiritual resurrection. In our baptism we were buried with Christ into his death and were raised to new life in him, just as Jesus was raised from the dead. Jesus is our resurrection and life too! And when our Lord Jesus Christ will come again at the last day, then we will experience a bodily resurrection, for he is the resurrection and the life.
Jesus as the resurrection is such a comfort for us because we all will experience death and have loved ones who pass away. Because Jesus is the resurrection, we are assured that we will live forever with God and one another in bliss and joy. What a blessing Jesus the resurrection gives us! Amen.
Resurrected Jesus, we pray for the Lutheran Church in Singapore, as they continue to work as one body to promote the development of the church ministries and in so doing, attract the younger generation to revitalise the church.
The devotions from this week are taken from LCA International Mission’s 40 Days – A Lenten Devotion and Prayer Guide. They are written by a variety of people who are connected with LCA International Mission. Some are LCANZ members who support International Mission in different ways, and others are from partner churches throughout the region. You can download the full prayer guide here.