In John 11:17, the focus changes from the disciples to Martha. “So when Jesus came,He found that he had already been in the tomb for four days.” If Jesus was 20 miles from Bethany, it would have taken one day moving rapidly to get there; He could have been there. You remember He delayed two; He could have been there much earlier. He chose not to go for something really wonderful that was about to happen. “Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord if you had been here,my brother would not have died’.” I wonder how many times we have said something like this. Martha blames the Lord for not coming. She knew where He was. She had to know to send someone to go get Him. She knew that it was a one-day journey for the messenger to go to Him, and a one-day journey for Him to come back. In two days, He could have been there. The scene is set; Lazarus has now been dead for four days. “Lord, if you had been here” but you weren’t. That’s the implication. “My brother would not have died.“
Secondly, she is very impressed with what she knows. You notice twice? In John 11:22, “Even now,I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” That’s an amazing statement of faith. “I know.” In John 11:24, Martha said, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Are both of those statements true? Absolutely. Martha has knowledge, but she lacks submission; that affects many of us. Don’t let yourself get full of knowledge but lack surrender.
One of the greatest statements of the Gospel of John starts in John 11:25, “Jesus said to her, I am…” Jesus said an amazing thing right there. You know that in the Gospel of John, there are eight signs of Jesus (the last one being the resurrection). In the Gospel of John, there are eight “I am” sayings as well. “I am” being the equivalent of the Old Testament Jehovah — “I AM that I AM.”
“I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live,
and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.“
As living believers all of us know and have loved ones who are believers who have died. “Those who live and believe in Him will never die.” Did you know that you’ll never die? You’ll never die. Now, a child of God closes their eyes in this life, the body stops functioning, but their eyes open in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. They never taste or experience death. You will never know what it means to die. That which we fear so much, dread so much, do everything that we can to escape and evade… if we understood what happens the moment after we close our eyes, every single one of us would be praying for the Lord to call us home today. How do I know that? I know that because the Apostle Paul had a revelation whether he was lifted in reality or just a vision.
In 2nd Corinthians Chapter 12, Paul went into the third heaven. He saw and heard things he was not allowed to repeat. He came back and said, “For me to live is Christ, to die is gain.” Remember when he wrote to the Philippians? And he said, “I’m between a rock and a hard place….” I’m using the Cunningham revised version. “…Having the desire rather to depart and be with the Lord, but to remain here is better for you.“
We say, “Oh, poor so-and-so could be my father,my mother, other relatives, you know, they’ve gone on.” Would you bring them back if you could? Sometimes we would, wouldn’t we? Jesus is about to bring somebody back. Get ready for that one! Knowing that our Lord is the resurrection and the life is a marvelous thing. But do we really understand what it means in our day to day life? Jesus ends by asking Martha, who said, “I know,I know. Yeah, I know, I know, I know.”
“Do you believe this?” I could ask you the same thing, do you believe this? Because if you really believe it and if you really understand it, the implications of it in the test the trials, the sorrows, the heartbreaks,the difficulties, even our failures, it changes everything! The life that we have in Christ is not just eternal life, it is resurrection life here and now. It’s already begun. The moment we trusted Christ, we became a new creationand as a new creation, having received resurrection life knowing that we can never die, knowing that death is the door that leads home. John 11:27, “She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that, you are the Christ,the Son of God who is to come into the world’.“
Do you believe that? Does it make a difference in your life?