June 20

John 11:25-27 25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" 27"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."

Jesus was the close friend of a family in Bethany just two miles outside of Jerusalem. The family consisted of a brother and two sisters. The brother Lazarus had died. Though the women sent word to Jesus during Lazarus' illness, Jesus waited until Lazarus had been dead for four days before He came. Traditionally the Jews mourned for a solid week when a loved one died. The first three days were designated as days of weeping. It was after that period had passed that Jesus finally came to them.

The women both had the same comment, which makes one wonder if they had voiced this to each other. "Lord, if you had been here, our brother would not have died." Jesus loved them, and that is why He waited. Without the painful experience, they would never have fully believed Jesus' next "I AM" revelation. "I am the resurrection and the life."

He had raised the dead daughter of the Jewish ruler, and the son of a widow in Nain, but never someone dead so long. This would be the next irrefutable sign that He was the Messiah. The Jews believed the spirit of the dead waited around for four days to re-enter the body, but in the heat of Palestine the face would be so decomposed by that time that the spirit would give up. Lazarus walked out of his tomb unmarred by illness, death, or decomposition.

There are times in our lives when we do not understand why Jesus does not show up. He is working toward something greater in our hearts. He would rather see you know Him than to answer your every request. Pain is often the teacher that leads us to a greater revelation of Christ. It is not that Jesus gives life and resurrection; it is that He gives us Himself.

Consider: He is the resurrection and the life. Do you believe this?