Monday 16 September, 2019
I am the Resurrection and the Life
“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, NIV)
The dramatic dialogue between Jesus and Martha before the resurrection of the man Lazarus reveals to us the fifth ‘I AM’ statement of Jesus—I am the Resurrection and the Life. Lazarus was ill, a word was sent to Jesus but he delayed to come. Lazarus died, he was buried and it was the fourth day he was in the grave when Jesus finally appeared. Martha runs to meet Jesus, tells Jesus that Lazarus would not have died had Jesus been around when he was ill. Although Martha had believed in Jesus’ healing power, she never thought of Jesus being the resurrection and the life.
Jesus straightforwardly asserted that he is the resurrection and the life, that as long as he is present, it doesn’t have to be at parousia for the dead man to rise to life. Jesus went ahead to demonstrate the claim he makes to himself by raising Lazarus back to life. He only called out; “Lazarus, come out” and “the dead mane came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and cloth around his face” (John 11:44).
Jesus’ claim of being the resurrection and the life which he demonstrated a few minutes after making this claim should give us a strong assurance of life after death. Many of our loved ones are falling asleep; the reality of death is all over around us. However, this fifth ‘I AM’ should give us hope, that in Christ we have eternal life.
The raising of Lazarus to life and most importantly Jesus’ own resurrection is a foretaste of our own resurrection. We may have terrible times in this present age but a better post-resurrection life awaits us. “No matter how devastating our struggles, disappointments, and troubles are, they are only temporary. No matter what happens to you, no matter the depth of tragedy or pain you face, no matter how death stalks you and your loved ones, the Resurrection promises you a future of immeasurable good” (John McDowell). Only believe in Jesus Christ and him alone, for he is the Resurrection and the Life.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, I rejoice and rejoice continually in your glorious and triumphant victory over death. For your victory is my victory. Help me to live by it, in it, and for it. I am grateful to my depths, grateful forever. Amen, (Selwyn Hughes).
Rev. Julius I. Tabi is a Dean of Students’ Affairs at Uganda Christian University Arua Campus. He is an ordained minister in the Anglican Diocese of Ma’di and West Nile (Church of Uganda) and serves as chaplain at Ushindi Secondary School in Arua. Julius is a student of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) at Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology of Uganda Christian University. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Religion, Society and Global Issues at MF Norwegian School of Theology. Prior to his pastoral training, Julius trained as a high school Biology and Chemistry teacher. You may reach him by completing the form below.