Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life ... No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again” (John 6:35).
“I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
“I am the gate for the sheep... If anyone enters by me, he will be saved” (John 10:7,9).
“I am the good shepherd... I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:14-15).
And Jesus proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live” (John 11:25).
Jesus’ declaration, “I am the Resurrection and the Life,” came at the funeral of a friend. The event is only recorded by John. As a matter of fact, Lazarus is not even mentioned by the other Gospel-writers. I’m so glad John, inspired by the Holy Spirit, penned these words.
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were siblings. They were likely the children of a man known as “Simon the leper” (Matthew 26:6, see also John 12:1-3 and Mark 14:3-5). If that’s the case, then maybe Jesus had miraculously and marvelously healed Simon of the deadly disease. Can you imagine the glorious celebration at Simon’s homecoming? He’d been a leper, unclean, shunned and excommunicated by society. But due to the tender touch of Jesus, he’d been reborn, made new, healed, and reunited with his loving family. I suspect that Simon had led his family in their unbridled love-affair with Jesus!
It was only natural that Mary and Martha would send word to Jesus when Lazarus became sick (John 11:3). “Please, Jesus, come quickly and heal your dying friend!” Curiously, Jesus purposefully delayed his visit (John 11:6), arriving at His friend’s home after Lazarus had been entombed for four days (John 11:17).
Martha greeted Jesus first. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died”(John 11:21). A few moments later, “Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and told him, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died!’ ” (John 11:32).
In the cemetery, standing with the other mourners, Jesus wept (John 11:35). Did He weep for Lazarus? Did he shed tears for Mary and Martha? Yes, but I believe that Jesus wept for all of humanity, those created in His own image, and the separation and death caused by mankind’s willful rebellion and sin.
“ ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unwrap him and let him go’ ” (John 11:43–44).
Lazarus knew the “bread of life” that sustains and satisfies and the “light of the world” that leads and guides. He entered the one and only “gate” that provides the singular way into the “good shepherd’s” fold of salvation and perfect protection. The “good shepherd” laid down His sinless life to ransom Lazarus’s sorry soul. And “the resurrection and the life”vanquished his final enemy. He, Jesus, “The Resurrection and The Life,” put death to death and overcame the grave!
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.