Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life….” John 11:25
If there is one thing I’ve learned about religion, it’s that religion is satisfied with behavior modification. It generally goes no deeper that that, because it sees the problem of mankind as this: we are bad people who need to be made good. But the problem is much more desperate than that. We aren’t merely bad; we are dead. Dead in trespasses and sin. A bad man at least has the hope that he can become better. A dead man is hopeless and can do nothing for himself.
But Jesus can do everything for us…..and He has. Not only has He resurrected us (giving us freedom from the death that once held us) but He has also given us life. Not religion……LIFE!
When Jesus spoke these words, He was addressing Martha, whose brother Lazarus had died a few days earlier. Martha realized that her brother would rise again in the resurrection at the last day. I marvel at Jesus’ response to her. He didn’t say “I will be his resurrection and life on that day”. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Life is never postponed to some future time or place. In Jesus, life is always present tense. He is the RIGHT NOW resurrection and life.
Tomorrow, Christians across the world will celebrate Resurrection Day, only to return on Monday to an existence that seems to fall short of the abundant life Jesus promised to His people. How long will we be content with this? When will we take hold of Him in faith and refuse to settle for an ordinary existence? Romans 6:4 says this: “….just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, EVEN SO we also should walk in newness of life.” That kind of life is anything but ordinary.
On this Resurrection weekend my prayer is that God would awaken us to the spiritual realities of LIFE in Jesus, that we would taste it, and be forever discontent with every lesser thing.
Religion is safe and easy and comfortable. Churches are convenient places to hide among a crowd. We need to be confronted by Jesus and what He came to do. We need to come face to face with our real selves – dirty and broken and imperfect. And we need to step out and look for the food and water, and not just be happy with it being spoonfed to us.