I AM the Resurrection and The Life John 11:25,26 (NKJV)

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1 Message for THE LORD'S DAY EVENING, February 8, 2015 Christian Hope Church of Christ, Plymouth, North Carolina by Reggie A. Braziel, Minister Message 5 in The Great I AM Sermon Series I AM the Resurrection and The Life John 11:25,26 (NKJV) Tonight we want to continue with our series of message on The Great I AM statements as recorded in the Gospel of John. Please turn with me to John, the eleventh chapter. And let's read verses 25,26. John 11:25-26 (NKJV) 25 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? ************************************************************ I N T R O D U C T I O N It has been said, A man is not ready to live until he is ready to die. None of us like to think about death or talk about it. We put off writing our wills. We put off buying a burial plot. And we put off making our funeral plans. But the Bible teaches us that just as surely as we live, we shall also die. Hebrews 9:27 (NKJV) And it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.

2 Without a doubt losing a loved one is one of, if not the most painful experience any of us will ever go through in our earthly lifetime. Regardless of whether their death was expected or unexpected, natural or tragic, sudden or drawn out, the loss of a loved one leaves a gaping hole in our heart; and we are never quite the same again. In order for us to better understand this great I AM statement we are looking at tonight we must look at in the context of the event leading up to Jesus making this statement. First of all, let's consider... I. The GRAVE Situation (vs. 1-6) John 11:1-6 (NKJV) 1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom You love 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 may be glorified through it. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.

3 1. The little Judean village of Bethany sat on the eastern slope of The Mount of Olives, about two miles from Jerusalem. Today this small village is inhabited by Arabs, and it is no longer called Bethany. Today it is called Al-Azariyeh, which is Arabic for town of Lazarus. 2. For a Man who spent most of His three year ministry on the road with no place to lay His head at night, the home of Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha, became a place of rest and refuge for Jesus. It became the place retreated to escape the watchful eyes of the scribes and Pharisees in nearby Jerusalem. 3. Lazarus, Mary and Martha were like family to Jesus. He had spent many nights in their home. He ate many meals at their table and enjoyed fellowship with them for many hours. And on one particular visit, our text tells us Mary had anointed Jesus with oil and wiped His feet with her hair. This truly was the closest thing Jesus had to a home His final three years on earth.

4 4. In these opening verses of this eleventh chapter we learn that Lazarus has become deathly ill. We aren't told the nature of Lazarus' illness, but the fact that Mary and Martha sent a messenger to tell Jesus reveals the severity of his sickness. Lazarus was dying. 5. Jesus was approximately miles away in the region of Perea, just east of the Jordan river. So it would have taken the messenger one whole day to get to Jesus. 6. Now listen to the somber plea in verse LORD, behold, he whom You love is sick. 7. To put it in today's vernacular, the messenger was saying, Lord, if you want to see Lazarus while he is still alive you need to get here as soon as possible. 8. But notice the rather startling reaction of Jesus in verse 6, So when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 9. Outwardly it seems like this two day delay revealed a cold, indifference on the part of Jesus or that He didn't really care about Lazarus. But that wasn't it at all.so why didn't Jesus leave immediately and go to Lazarus' bedside? Actually, there were two reasons:

5 (A) One, Jesus already knew Lazarus was dead. Notice v. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead. Some Bible scholars believe Lazarus had actually already died by the time the time the messenger arrived. Verse 17 seems to support this belief because it tells us by the time Jesus got to Bethany Lazarus had been in the tomb four days. (B) But there was a greater reason why Jesus delayed two days: v.4 When Jesus heard that, He said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it. Jesus delayed going to Bethany for two days so that He and His heavenly Father might be glorified through the miraculous resurrection of Lazarus back to life. You see, God's immediate will for Lazarus was that he die. But God's ultimate will was for Lazarus to live again. Well this brings us to... II. The GLORIOUS Promise (vs. 25,26) 1. Today, when someone in the Church or someone in the community dies, people gather at the home of the deceased to comfort the family. Many bring food. Some sit for hours with the family. Others may drop by for a few moments to pay their respects or have a word of prayer.

6 2. It was no different in Jesus' day. After word of Lazarus' death spread, a number of women from Bethany and the surrounding community went to the house to comfort Mary and Martha. 3. But the most comforting presence of all was that moment when Jesus finally arrived. In fact, it was the absence of Jesus at the time of Lazarus' death that was so troubling to Mary and Martha. 4. As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she left the house to go out to meet Him, and she said, Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 5. We might easily interpret Martha's remark to mean she had lost all faith in Jesus; but notice what she says in verse 22, But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give. 6. Jesus then reassures Martha, Your brother will rise again. Martha didn't fully believed what Jesus was saying, but she believed her brother's resurrection was an event that would happen in the last day...in other words the distant future.

7 7. It is at this point, Jesus makes His great I AM statement: John 11:25-26 (NKJV) I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. DO YOU BELIEVE THIS? 8. What does Jesus mean when He says: I AM the Resurrection and the Life? Just as the way of SALVATION is through the person of Jesus, our RESURRECTION from the dead is also through the person of Jesus. RELIGION cannot resurrect us from the dead. Our resurrection is NOT a reward for doing good works or believing certain doctrines. Our resurrection is a glorious promise given to us by the only One who can make it happen! Once you and I are dead, no doctor, no scientist, no medium, no faith healer, no TV evangelist can resurrect us from the dead. JESUS alone can resurrect us for He Himself resurrected and He alone is the Resurrection and the Life.

8 9. For every true believer there is nothing to fear about death. Death does not stop us from living! It has been said... Death is not extinguishing the light from the Christian; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come. I Corinthians 15:54,55 (NKJV) Paul says, Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? 10. You see, for the child of God it doesn't matter whether you are dead or alive physically, you are always alive through Christ Jesus. ( Even though you may die, you shall live. But those who are alive physically who do not believe in Jesus Christ are dead even if they are living and breathing physically. Without Christ all men are dead! Well we have considered : The GRAVE Situation The GLORIOUS Promise Finally, let's consider...

9 III. The GLAD Reunion Let's pick up the record in vs And He said, Where have you laid him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see. 35 Jesus wept. (pause) 36 Then the Jews said, See how He loved him! 37 And some of them said, Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying? 38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days. 40 Jesus said to her, Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God? 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me. 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth! 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, Loose him, and let him go. Does Jesus care when I ve said goodbye to the dearest on earth to me, and my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks Is it aught to Him? Does He see? O yes He cares, I know He cares, His heart is touched with my grief. When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, I KNOW MY SAVIOR CARES!

10 1. How do we know Jesus cares when a loved one dies? Two words: Jesus wept. He didn't just get choked up or get a lump in His throat or shed a tear or two, JESUS WEPT. The word for wept here doesn't refer to loud, uncontrollable wailing, but rather a soft, intense sorrow demonstrated by an endless flow of tears. He truly was A Man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 53:3) 2. You notice verse 38 says, Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. Jesus was feeling the intense sense of loss and grief of Mary and Martha and everyone else who was mourning for Lazarus. 3. And with that, Jesus steps to the entrance to the cave where Lazarus was buried...he orders the stone to be removed, and with a loud voice, Jesus commands Lazarus to come forth. And even after four days...even after the decay of death has begun...even though all hope of recovery is gone...lazarus walks out of his own grave still bound in his graveclothes. Jesus then orders that Lazarus' graveclothes be removed...and HE GAVE THE RESURRECTED LAZARUS BACK TO HIS SISTERS! v.45 tells us, Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did BELIEVED IN HIM! The Father and The Son were truly glorified!

11 C O N C L U S I O N The apostle Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 4 that one day the LORD will call us out of our graves just as He did Lazarus that day. I Thessalonians 4:16 (NKJV) For the LORD Himself will descend from heaven with A SHOUT, with the VOICE OF AN ARCHANGEL, and with THE TRUMPET OF GOD and the dead in Christ will rise first. Jesus said... I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?

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