November 27 I Saturday
1 Peter 4
“‘Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give You whatever You ask.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’” —John 11:21-23
After hearing the news of Lazarus’s sickness, Jesus stayed where He was for two days before finally setting out for Bethany, which was where Lazarus lived. When Jesus arrived, He was greeted by Lazarus’s sister, Martha, who was mourning over the death of Lazarus. She told Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). Did we notice something interesting in her statement? Martha was speaking in the past tense. Later, when Mary, Martha’s sister, came to Jesus, she said the exact same thing too: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32). Both prefaced their statement with the word “If.” This is the problem: we cannot live in the “If only…” because we cannot go back and rewrite history. If we dwell on them, we become discouraged, depressed and maybe even angry and bitter. This was the danger for Mary and Martha.
Jesus told Martha, “Your brother will rise again.” This statement, however, did not fill her with hope or excitement as she responded, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Again, did we notice something about Martha’s statement? She was speaking in the future tense. Jesus’s statement did not offer Martha’s heart much comfort, because she believed that what she knew about this was of no practical use to her at the moment. In the same way, we could have our creeds, Christian doctrines and beliefs, but to believe these truths and neglect their implications is as bad as not believing them at all, as they have no practical use to us when things go wrong.
Martha believed in the power of Jesus in the past, and she believed in the power of Jesus in the future, but she missed the most important thing about Him. Jesus tells her, “I am the resurrection and the life.” What do we notice about Jesus’s statement? He is stating it in the present tense. Also, Jesus did not say, “I offer resurrection and life,” or “I provide resurrection and life” or even “I will perform a resurrection on Lazarus, so do not worry.” Jesus simply stated, “I am the resurrection and the life.” He has nothing to offer us outside of Himself. In fact, it is Himself that is the embodiment of all these things.
Therefore, when we know who Jesus Christ is, all the rest becomes logical. We trust Him because the heart of the gospel is not just receiving from Christ but also being united with Christ.
Prayer: Dear Lord, please forgive my frustration, my disappointments and my “if only....” Help me to trust You in every moment of my life. Thank You, Lord.