“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. Do you believe this?”” (John 11:25–26 ESV)
What did Jesus mean when he told Martha that he was the resurrection and the life?
- Resurrection and life are found only in him – If Jesus is the resurrection and the life, then no one else can be the resurrection and the life, only him. He will tell the disciples later in John: “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me (John 14.6). You want exclusive? Jesus gives you exclusive, and he doesn’t seem the least concerned about how exclusive he is.
- Jesus is the embodiment of doctrine and truth – Martha is speaking about doctrine, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus speaks of himself as the embodiment of that doctrine: “I am the resurrection and the life.”
- Jesus goes all in here, all way in – Can you think of a more outlandish statement than this one made by any person in the history of the world? “If you believe in me,” says Jesus, “you will never die. You will live forever.” Excuse me? Did I hear you correctly? Jesus claims the power of eternal life here, and he claims it in such a way that it is either him or no one else. Wow!
- When Jesus says never, he really means never – The expression that Jesus uses when he says “everyone who believes in me will never die,” is a very, very strong expression. He speaks an emphatic negation here, as in “no possible way,” or “never ever ever.” Think about this for a minute, Jesus is saying that if you believe in him—just belief, that is all, nothing more—you will never ever, no possible way, die an eternal death. This is what I mean in the point above when I say out that Jesus was all in. You just can’t get “inner” than that.
It is up to you, dear reader, to decide whether or not you are all in with Jesus. He certainly made it clear where he stands, but of course you must believe with Martha, you are called to a point of decision by Jesus’ words here. Indeed, his final question can [and is] asked of you: Do you believe this?