Saturday, 20 August 2016

He says it … He does it … He is it!

“I am the resurrection and the life”  (John 11:25)

Here in John’s Gospel is Jesus, standing at the graveside of a much-loved friend who has been in the tomb for four long days.  Jesus is more than a godly miracle-worker.  His style is utterly different from that of an itinerant wonder-worker who might perhaps have boasted, “I can turn water into wine, I can stop storms, I can multiply bread; Listen – I can even do resurrections!”

No, Christ is more than someone who dispenses wonderful gifts.  He IS the Gift itself – being the original source of all life.  You don’t come to Jesus for gifts.  You come because He is Jesus!  He is the one and only universal Resurrection and the Life.  He says it, He does it, He is it!

At the tomb, they’re weeping – and Jesus weeps too.  So He doesn’t look down upon our sorrows in calm detachment; He has emotions too.  A friend of mine described her sense of outrage as the coffin of her father was lowered into the ground.  Something inside her was shouting, ‘That’s my DADDY!’ What a difference it makes that Jesus, Lord of all life, shares the grief of His friends at these epic moments.

In our story, Lazarus, the dead friend, was raised.  Here was the demonstration of Christ’s authority over Old Man Death.  It was apparent in every one of His commands that wonderful day: “Take away the stone!....Lazarus, come out1….  Take off the grave clothes and let him go!”  This was not THE Resurrection.  Lazarus would die again one day.  But the event took place – as Jesus phrased it in His prayer to the Father above “that they may believe that You sent Me.  ”It was also  something of a curtain-raiser for what was to come – Christ’s own historic, bodily resurrection – the prototype for every one of those who follow Him through this life and into the next – never to die again!