Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)
Jesus is the Master of the metaphor. When he describes himself using a metaphor, he not only expands our understanding of him, he usually expands our understanding of the word that he uses to describe himself. For example, when Jesus says, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), he is saying that he supplies nourishment like bread does, but the nourishment that Jesus gives us is so much more than the nourishment of ordinary bread that they are not really comparable. Jesus is the Bread that gives life, but, again, the life that Jesus gives is far more than life in the regular sense of the word.
So when Jesus says, “I am the resurrection,” he is not merely saying, “I raise people from the dead,” which he does. Jesus is saying far more than that. Jesus is saying that all of our hopes, desires, dreams and prayers for
life in the face of death,
hope in the midst of hopelessness,
redemption in a situation where all seems lost,
reconciliation where there is estrangement,
comfort when grieving a great loss,
peace in the middle of a storm, and
joy in a time of great sorrow
are all found and fulfilled in him.
And faith helps us to shift from measuring our quality of life by our view of our circumstances to measuring our quality of life by Jesus’ view of our circumstances. Our view is always partial and incomplete, as “… in a mirror, dimly…” (1 Corinthians 13:12). But Jesus’ view is truth. Believing in Jesus is actually believing that his view of my life is accurate and, therefore, I should live as if what he says is really true, because it really is.
Can you imagine the difference it would make in our lives if we really believed that death has no claim on us and, because of Jesus, we will live, even though we die, and, therefore, we will never die? Anxiety and worry would disappear. Decisions would be made based on faith, not fear or greed. We would joyfully embrace the many good things of this world, but not hold onto them too tightly, for we know that a time will come for us to say good-bye and let go so we can awake and arise to the new life in the new heaven and earth that Jesus has prepared for us.
Do you believe this?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help us to believe with all of our heart, soul, strength and mind that you really are the resurrection and the life. Amen.