17 now when Jesus came, he found that lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 bethany was near jerusalem, about two miles off, 19 and many of the jews had come to martha and mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 so when martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but mary remained seated in the house. 21 martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 but even now i know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “your brother will rise again.” 24 martha said to him, “i know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I Am the resurrection and the life. whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. do you believe this?” 27 she said to him, “yes, Lord; i believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” [john 11:17-27]
do you believe this?
grief is common to the human experience, because death is common to the human experience. when reading this account, it can be easy to overlook the grief and pain that comes with the death of a loved one.
we know how this story will end, but in this moment, the story appears to be over already. lazurus is dead, and there was no one there to keep it from happening. in this moment, grief is prevalent in a family of people that Jesus loved dearly.
it is normal to grieve.
yet as we grieve, we must also believe.
paul writes in I thessalonians 4:13, “we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.”
when we grieve, we grieve with strong, fervent, meaningful hope that the story is not over.
as martha is grieving, Jesus asks her one of the most important questions any of us will never be asked – “do you believe this?”.
martha understands the resurrection theoretically – as an event that will happen someday.
Jesus explains to her that the resurrection is not just a when, but a who. Jesus does not merely point to the resurrection; he is the resurrection!
our faith is not based on something that will happen someday, but on a person who we can know and communicate with. a high priest who knows what is means to be human – to rejoice, to hope, and to grieve [hebrews 4:14-16].
praise God for being a good and faithful king who is the resurrection and the life!
~ jason soroski