The Resurrection and the Life (Part 1)


Ryan Hayden I Am

Take your Bibles and turn today to John 11. John 11.

For the last month, I’ve been preaching a little series called “The I Ams of Jesus” - there are seven statements Jesus made about who He is in John and each one of them is significant. Each one of them teaches us about what it is all about - Jesus.

Christianity is about Jesus. He is the alpha and the omega. He is the beginning and the end. He is the one by whom all things consist. Of Him and to Him and through Him are all things. It’s all about Jesus.

Heaven is going to be a celebration of Jesus. There are going to be people from every tribe and every tongue circled around the throne room of God singing Glory to Jesus. It’s all about Him.

So it’s helpful for us sometimes to look at Jesus and listen to the words of Jesus and learn about Jesus, because everything else in the Christian life revolves around Jesus.

John 11 is a great chapter. It’s actually the beginning of the end of Jesus earthly ministry. It records Jesus last trip from Galilee in northern Israel to Judea in Southern Israel where Jesus would be betrayed and crucified.

If you were to look at this passage on a timeline of Jesus life, it would come right before the triumphal entry (or Palm Sunday) and then the Passover and last supper. In fact, at the end of John 11, you see the Pharisees and the High Priests conspiring about trapping Jesus.

But this isn’t just a great chapter because of what is around it, it is a great chapter because what is in it. In this chapter Jesus does one of His greatest miracles, He raises a man from the dead who had been dead for four days. And in the context of that He says in verse 25:

”Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:”

It’s a great story and a great verse.

Because it’s great, we are going to take the time to read all of it. I’m going to read a very lengthy passage of scripture this morning - 46 verses - because I want you to understand the whole story.

So let’s read John 11:1-46

”1 Now a certain [man] was sick, [named] Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (It was [that] Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 4 When Jesus heard [that], he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 7 Then after that saith he to [his] disciples, Let us go into Judaea again. 8 [His] disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again? 9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. 11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. 14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. 16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. 17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had [lain] in the grave four days already. 18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: 19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat [still] in the house. 21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give [it] thee. 23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? 27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. 28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. 29 As soon as she heard [that], she arose quickly, and came unto him. 30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. 31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. 32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, 34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! 37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? 38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been [dead] four days. 40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? 41 Then they took away the stone [from the place] where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up [his] eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said [it], that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. 45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. 46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done”

There are four lessons from this story about Jesus that I want to teach you today. They are four areas of life that Jesus teaches us about in this passage. They are relationships, risk, regret and resurrection. Let’s pray and we’ll cover two of those four things this morning (we’ll cover the other two tonight).


The first lesson from this story is…

1. Jesus and relationships

You see, one of the beautiful things about this passage is that it highlights the special relationship that Jesus had with individual people.

A family: Mary, who wiped Jesus feet with her hair. Martha, who was busy serving Jesus and Lazarus, their brother. These three had a very special relationship with Jesus, and what I love about this chapter is that it points that out.

Look at verse 3:

”Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.”

Look at verse 5:

”Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.”

And look near the end, at verse 36 (everyone’s favorite memory verse):

”Jesus wept.”

And look at the next verse:

”Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!”

There are two things that we learn about Jesus here that have to do with relationships:

First, Jesus cares deeply for individuals.

We sing “Jesus loves me this I know” but do you know what, if you are one of His, He does love you. He loves you and cares for you very much. Over and over in this passage it mentions how much Jesus loved the individuals in this little family.

He loved Martha - workaholic Martha. He loved Mary - emotional and volatile Mary. And He loved Lazarus.

He loved them so much, He couldn’t see them hurting without weeping himself.

He saw the pain and the anguish in their soul and it hurt Him.

I remember when I was very young watching Bill Clinton on the debate stage when he was running for president stand look directly at a lady and say “I feel your pain.”

Jesus feels our pain. Jesus cares for you. You may be going through something that is terrible, just terrible and you may think “No one knows what I’m going through, no one understands and no one cares.” But Jesus cares.

Sing it with me…

“Oh yes He cares, I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief though the days are weary the long night dreary I know my Savior cares.”

But do you know what, if you were paying attention when we first read this story, it didn’t seem like Jesus cared. Jesus heard about Lazarus being sick and then purposely waited until he had been dead for four days before He went to visit.

They didn’t have the internet, they didn’t have email or phones, there was no FaceTime. The disciples had no idea what kind of condition that Lazarus was in: But Jesus knew. Jesus knew full well that he had died and he knew full well that Mary and Martha were mourning their brother for four full days.

And yet He waited.

That seems kind of callous doesn’t it? I mean, I kind of feel for poor Mary and Martha. I understand why both Mary and Martha said “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.”

It kind of seems almost mean of Jesus to be able to stop Lazarus from dying, to know that Mary and Martha were grieving, and to still wait.

But Jesus knew what He was doing.

The second thing we learn from this passage about our relationship with Jesus is:

Jesus responds to us with an eternal vision.

Way up in verse 4, Jesus said

”This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”

Jesus knew what He was doing. A whole lot of people were going to believe on Jesus because of what happened to Lazarus. If Jesus had come sooner, they may have said “Oh, he didn’t really die.” But Lazarus was decomposing. Jesus waited until he stank.

Sometimes it doesn’t seem like Jesus cares. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like Jesus even hears the cry of our heart. Sometimes He says “no.” Often He says “wait.”

But do you know what…God knows what He is doing, and if He is allowing you to go through a tough time it is for your good and His glory. Because He sees the end from the beginning.

So we learn about Jesus relationships.

The second thing we learn about our life from Jesus here is about…

2. Jesus and risk

Look at verse 7 with me:

”Then after that He saith unto his disciples, let us go into Judea again”

So, Jesus has waited long enough. It’s time to go see Mary and Martha and put them out of their misery. It’s time to go down to Judea and raise Lazarus.

But look at what the disciples say:

”His disciples say unto him, Master, the jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again.”

In other words, what his disciples were saying was that Judea was dangerous. Judea was filled with powerful people who wanted to kill Jesus and the disciples knew that if Jesus went to Judea, He probably wouldn’t leave. He would probably be killed there.

Now, let me ask you something, were the disciples right? Yes. They were right. This was Jesus last trip. He was going to get betrayed in Judea and He was going to be crucified. They were right.

But I want you to notice how Jesus answered them in verse 9:

”Jesus answered, are there not twelve hours in a day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.”

Now, don’t skip over this. It’s important. That might not seem like it makes any sense, but Jesus was making an important point here.

Jesus was making two points about how we deal with risk and danger here:

The first point is:

We have each been given an allotted task and an allotted time to do it.

That’s what the analogy of “walking in the day” is referring to. It’s referring to living in God’s will. Doing the things that God wants us to do. Jesus was saying “I’ve got twelve hours of sunshine to do my Father’s work, let’s make hay while the sun shines.”

Here are what a couple of commentators said about these verses:

“Jesus is saying that a man must finish the day’s work within the day, for the night comes when work is ended.” (Barclay)

“There are but twelve hours in the day, and it will be sunset before you dream of it. Get done what God has sent you here to do.” (Morrison)

Let me tell you something, each of you have a God-given job to do. Each of you have some kind of ministry, some kind of bigger purpose, God has something He wants you to do. Every one of you.

Someday you will stand before God and you will hear either “well done my good and faithful servant” or something else. But God has given you a task to preform with this life and He expects you to do the task.

Let me tell you something else: your time is limited. There are only so many hours in a day, only so many days in a week, only so many weeks in a year and only so many years in a life. You will not live forever here in this life. You will in eternity, but not here. Your time is limited.

So each of us need to make full use of the time that God has given us to do the task that God has given us. We need to be “redeeming the time” because the days are evil. We have limited time to do God’s will.

But the second thing I think that Jesus was trying to teach His disciples and us here is this:

When we are doing God’s will in God’s way and in God’s time, we really are invincible.

In other words, if we just focus on doing God’s will in the time He has given us, then nothing can shorten our time. You are going to get the amount of hours that God has given you.

Now, of course, I’m not saying you should be stupid. I’m not saying you should say “nothing can shorten my time, so I’m going to smoke three packs a day and eat a dozen donuts for breakfast every morning.” I’m not saying you say “nothing can shorten my time, so I’m going to go parachuting without a parachute.”

But what I am saying is that if you are just following God, your safety, protection and welfare is up to Him.

Do you know what the most repeated command in the Bible is? It is “fear not.”. That command is found 144 times in the scripture. Fear not.

Philippians 4:6 says:

”Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Just put it in God’s hands. Just turn your fears and your cares over to Him and focus on doing the work He’s given you to do in the time He’s given you to do it. Let Him take care of the other circumstances.

You’ve only got 12 hours of daylight, so you better walk while the sun is shining.

Now listen, I haven’t even got to our text verse yet. I’m going to cover the last two points tonight. Let me ask you two questions in closing this morning:

  1. Do you have a relationship with Jesus? Are you one of His?
  2. Are you making full use of the sunshine? Are you doing God’s will with your life?