[Lesson 77: The Heart of God] [Table of Contents] [Lesson 79: Jesus Enters Jerusalem]

Lesson 78

The Resurrection and the Life

John 11,12

Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.

At this point in our study in the holy Gospel {Injil}, we have seen that the Messiah, Jesus, has many names. These names help us to know who He is. We have already heard that Jesus was called: the Word which was with God in the beginning, the Son of the Most High, the Son of Man, the Lamb of God, the Savior, the Bread that gives life, the Light of the World, the Lord of Glory, the Gate of the Sheep pen, and the Good Shepherd. Today we will see two additional names of Jesus: they are: "the Resurrection" and "the Life."

We have seen how Jesus traveled throughout the land of the Jews, teaching, doing good, healing the sick, the lame, the blind and the demon-possessed. A great crowd followed Him. However, the religious "experts," known as the Pharisees, were extremely jealous of Jesus. They could not deny the wisdom with which He spoke, nor could they deny the miracles which He did.

Today we plan to continue in the Gospel. We will see how Jesus performed another supernatural wonder that revealed the glory of God in Him, so that people might believe in Him. Reading in the Gospel of John, chapter eleven, the Scripture says:

(John 11) 1Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. 3So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick." 4When he heard this, Jesus said, "This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." 5Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days. (Jesus knew that Lazarus would die. But Jesus planned to use the death of Lazarus to show the power of God which dwelt in Him, so that people would know that He came from heaven.)

7Then [after staying for two days where they were, Jesus] said to his disciples, "Let us go back to Judea." 8"But Rabbi," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?" 9Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight?… 11…"Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up." 12His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." 13Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, 15and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."

17On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21"Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." 23Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" 27"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world." 28And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. "The Teacher is here," she said, "and is asking for you." 29When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him… 32When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34"Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied. 35Jesus wept. 36Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" 37But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?" 38Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39"Take away the stone," he said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days." 40Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" 41So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me." 43When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" 44The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."

Before finishing this amazing story, it would be good for us to think a little about this mighty miracle Jesus did. From the creation of the world to today, nobody ever heard of anyone who could give life to a corpse that had already been four days in the tomb; a corpse that had begun to decay and stink. However, that is exactly what Jesus did when He raised Lazarus from the dead.

The power of death was not a problem for the Lord Jesus, because He is the Word of God; the very Life of God, who came from heaven. As God has life in Himself, so the Messiah has life in Himself. And as God can resurrect dead bodies and give them life, so also the Messiah can give life to whomever He wants, because He Himself is the Source of Life. That is why, when Jesus called Lazarus to come forth, the corpse came back to life, arose and came out of the tomb. That is also why Jesus could say to Lazarus' sister, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he die!"

Now let us finish the story and find out what the Jews did after they saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the grave. The Scripture says:

(John 11) 45Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. 46But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. "What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. 48If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."

49Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! 50You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish." 51He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53So from that day on they plotted to take his life. 54Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the Jews. Instead he withdrew to a region near the desert, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

55When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple area they asked one another, "What do you think? Isn't he coming to the Feast at all?" 57But the chief priests and Pharisees had given orders that if anyone found out where Jesus was, he should report it so that they might arrest him.

(John 12) 1Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5"Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year's wages." 6He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7"Leave her alone," Jesus replied. "[It was intended] that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."

9Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him.

Our time is about up, but before we say goodbye, there is something we must consider. Did you see how the religious rulers reacted to the miraculous sign (proof) which Jesus showed them? None of them dared to deny the miracle Jesus did, because everyone could see for themselves the man who had been raised from the dead! But what did the High Priest and the other priests do? Did they repent of their sins and believe that Jesus was the Messiah who came from heaven? No, they did not repent! All the miraculous signs which Jesus performed did not cause the priests and their disciples to repent and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

What did the High Priests do then? They hated Jesus even more and conspired together to devise a plan to kill Him! They also planned to kill Lazarus whom Jesus had just raised from the dead, because he was the reason that many Jews were turning away from the priests and following Jesus. How insincere and far from God were the hearts of those religious rulers! They did not love God or the truth. They ignored the obvious proofs (the many miracles) which Jesus had done before them. All they thought about was their own pleasure, their own position, their own advantage, and making money. Thus, they conspired together to kill Jesus, because they were afraid that if they allowed Him to continue, all the Jews would turn away from them and follow Jesus.

What do you think about those religious rulers? Who put the idea in their minds to kill Jesus? Satan was guiding them, because he hates God and His Messiah. Satan thought that if the Jewish leaders put Jesus to death, God's plan to save the children of Adam from his power would fail. What Satan did not realize was that God planned to use the death of the Messiah to deliver the children of Adam from Satan's power! Also, Satan and those who went along with him did not realize that the power of death could not hold the Lord Jesus. The earth could not decompose {Lit. eat} Him, because Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. That is why Jesus could say to the sister of Lazarus, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…Do you believe this?" (John 11:25,26)

This is where we must leave you today. We invite you to join us in the coming study as we continue in the Gospel and see how Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey, thus fulfilling what God's prophets had written long beforehand concerning the Messiah.…

May God Himself teach you as you ponder the blessed meaning of these words from Jesus the Messiah:

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…Do you believe this?" (John 11:25,26)