Weather Alert:

Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

Programming Note:

Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

Close this search box.

“I am the resurrection and the life”

March 30, 2023

Daily Scripture

John 11:11-25

11 He continued, “Our friend Lazarus is sleeping, but I am going in order to wake him up.”
12 The disciples said, “Lord, if he’s sleeping, he will get well.” 13 They thought Jesus meant that Lazarus was in a deep sleep, but Jesus had spoken about Lazarus’ death.
14 Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died. 15 For your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there so that you can believe. Let’s go to him.”
16 Then Thomas (the one called Didymus) said to the other disciples, “Let us go too so that we may die with Jesus.”
17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Bethany was a little less than two miles from Jerusalem. 19 Many Jews had come to comfort Martha and Mary after their brother’s death. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, while Mary remained in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. 22 Even now I know that whatever you ask God, God will give you.”
23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Bethany is just a few miles from Jerusalem. Going there could expose Jesus to the malice of his enemies again (verse 16). Jesus intentionally waited before going to where his friend lay deathly ill (verse 15). By the time he reached Bethany, Lazarus had died. Grieving her brother’s death, Martha told Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” He answered with one of his greatest “I am” sayings: “I am the resurrection and the life.”

  • Picture it: Mary and Martha worried, wept, prayed, and sent word to Jesus for help (they knew he could heal!). Yet Lazarus died. That is often our story, too–we pray for personal peace, justice, or healing. But at times praying forces us to realize that God’s timing is not ours (see Isaiah 55:8-9). Martha greeted Jesus with a sad “if” statement. Do you have any “ifs” on your heart right now? Like Martha, express that to Jesus. Then listen and watch for the comforting hope he offers.
  • Of Jesus’ “I am” statements in John, his words to Martha are probably the most cherished: “I am the resurrection and the life… everyone who believes in me will never die.” Jesus’ responses to our “if” questions often surprise us, as they did Martha and Mary. Jesus has many ways of bringing good news, hope, and new possibilities into the messiness and grief of life. We face the same question Jesus asked Martha: “Do you believe this?”

Lord Jesus, it is hard for me to trust you in the midst of my “if you’d acted” questions. Thank you for offering me an eternal hope when I put my faith in you. Help me to trust your ways. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as Human Resources Lead Director. Janelle finds that her heart is constantly wrestling with the truth that she needs a Savior, and the times when she's at her very best are when she's just too tired to put up a fight.

I love a good Scrabble game. At one point, I actually belonged to a Scrabble club here in town. These were serious Scrabble players. It was amazing! One of the club members had all 1,056 three-letter words memorized. About 8 years ago, I was telling one of my coworkers about the club. I made a very bold statement, “I’m a really good Scrabble player.” “Oh?” he said. “I’ve been playing an online version of Scrabble. Any interest in a friendly competition?” “For sure! But again, I warn you – I’m really good at Scrabble.”

As we began our friendly competition, I created a traveling trophy of sorts. The idea was that trophy was displayed in the winner’s office until the other won. I was super excited to display this trophy in my office. After all, I’m really good at scrabble.

But as we played, it became evident that the trophy was displayed in my coworker’s office about 70% of the time. I thought I was really good at Scrabble… until I played someone who is really good at Scrabble. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t back up my words.

My claims were just around a game of letters and words, but in the gospels, we find Jesus making SUPER bold statements. Perhaps none were bolder than what we find in John 11: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though they die. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” Talk about brazen!  But with Jesus, he’s able to back up his words. We witness this not only in the resurrection of Lazarus, but in his own resurrection. Jesus means what he says. He IS the resurrection!

I absolutely believe that Jesus offers resurrection in the life everlasting, but I believe his hope for resurrection goes far beyond that. Jesus is in the business of resurrecting. In our broken relationships, Jesus is the resurrection. When we feel grief and pain, Jesus is the resurrection. When we’ve lost hope, Jesus is the resurrection. And when Jesus says he is the resurrection and the life, he backs it up. In the words of Pastor Adam that are cemented in my soul, “I not only believe in the resurrection. I’m counting on it!”

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.