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November 30 I Tuesday

Ezekiel 37-39

2 Peter 2

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’”   —John 11:25-26

 

How was Jesus the first person to be resurrected? Paul writes, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). The word, “firstfruits,” is interesting, because Jesus was not the first one to be raised from the dead. In the Old Testament, we read in 1 Kings 17:17-24 of Elijah bringing the widow’s son back to life, and in 2 Kings 4:8-37 of Elisha bringing the Shunammite’s son back to life. With the ministry of Jesus in the New Testament, He raised Jairus’s daughter back to life (Mark 5:35-43), the son of the widow of Nain back to life (Luke 7:11-15) and Lazarus too. How then is Jesus’s resurrection described as the “firstfruits” when it occurred after all these events? The answer is because everyone else who was raised in the Bible would naturally die again. We know this because John tells us, “The chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus…” (John 12:10). Although Jesus raised Lazarus to life, Lazarus would die again, just as the widow’s son, the Shunammite’s son, Jairus’s daughter and the widow of Nain’s son too.

      But Jesus will not die again after He is raised from the dead, as Paul says, “For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God” (Romans 6:9-10). Jesus’s death defeated the last enemy—death. Hence, Jesus is able to say, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die.” Jesus is not only the resurrection; He is also the life. In receiving that risen life of Christ into our life, we live in the power of His resurrection, and can have assurance of a physical resurrection when that day comes. 

      When Jesus asked Martha, “Do you believe this?” (John 11:26). She did not respond by saying, “I believe You have the power to resurrect people from the dead.” Instead, Martha told Jesus, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world” (John 11:27). Martha believed in the resurrection not because of Jesus’s power, but because of who He is—He is the Son of God who came to save the world! 

      Do we believe in Jesus?

 

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, I believe in You. Thank You for coming to conquer death once and for all, bringing salvation for all the world. Praise You!


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