In John 11:25 Jesus, at the death of Lazarus, speaks to Martha declaring, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Note that Jesus did not say:
- “My teaching will give life to you”, nor,
- “Your hard work will get the results you want”, nor,
- “Follow My example to get eternal life”, nor
- “Be a good person and you will have eternal life”, nor,
- “That some form of sacrifice should be obtained, or money given”.
Instead He uniquely said that “I am the resurrection”. In history there have been many founders of religions, many great teachers, a multitude of charismatic individuals, some have been good leaders. They gave principles and philosophies to live by. They set forth ideals, visions and promises for the people, but none of them claimed that they personally were the source for the solution. None boldly stated that they were the power and basis for new hope or an eternal resurrection. Jesus made this bold proclamation and then went on to demonstrate that he could actually accomplish it, by bringing Lazarus back to life and through His own resurrection.
The bringing back to life of Lazarus was a known fact to the early Christian believers and the Jewish people in that area. After coming back to life Lazarus’s was threatened, “the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus as well (as Jesus), since it was on his account that many of the Jews were leaving them and believing in Jesus.” [John 12:10-11]
Yes, there is a resurrection, its affect on our lives is obtained through our trust in the work of Jesus. Jesus declares in John 11 “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. Do you believe this?” (Vs. 25, 26)
This Easter may you rest and trust more wholly in the completed work of Jesus Christ.
As an historical aside: It is interesting that according to ancient Cypriot tradition Lazarus went to the city of Kition, now called Larnaca, in Cyprus, where later he was met by the Apostles Paul and Barnabas on their missionary journey through Cyprus, and was ordained by them as the first Bishop of Kition.
The bones of the Lazarus were first discovered in 890 A.D. in a tomb in the small church in Kition that existed at that time. These bones were found in a marble sarcophagus which was inscribed with the following: “Lazarus four days dead and friend of Christ“. When the bones and inscription of Lazarus was found, Leo VI the Wise, was the Emperor of Byzantium Empire and according to custom, he carried the bones to Constantinople, and in exchange for them, he sent money and technicians to build the second church that was built on the same site which is still present there today.
This tradition is supported not only by archaeological evidence, but also by the credible religious historian, Arethas, Archbishop of Caesarea, who related the discovery of Lazarus’ tomb and the transport of his bones to Constantinople in the late ninth century. Arethas’ comments also give credibility to the knowledge that the bones of Lazarus in Kition was a well-know fact of the local people of that time.