Jesus: The Resurrection and The Life (John 11)
What would it take to convince you that a man was actually the Son of God?
Up to this point, John has shown us six signs that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah:
1. Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding.
2. Jesus healed a Royal Official’s son without even going to his house.
3. Jesus healed an invalid who had suffered for 38 years, just by speaking to him.
4. Jesus fed 5,000 men (plus women and children) with only 5 barley loaves and 2 fish.
5. Jesus walked on water to his disciples who were experiencing a strong storm.
6. Jesus gave sight to a man born blind by spitting on the ground and putting mud on his eyes.
After all of that, if you were a skeptic, what would convince you? What if he could raise someone from the dead? That is exactly what John records as his seventh and climatic sign. By showing us that Jesus can raise the dead to life, the Bible declares that Jesus is the Son of God and the only source of resurrection and life.
But for Jesus to raise a man from the dead, that man must die and his family and friends must go through the experience of death with him. As a result, everyone of us will be able to identify with them and learn from their experience, because death is a reality of life.
No doubt, you have had someone close to you die. If you haven’t its probably because you are young and you will go through this experience at some point. Because of the nature of our role and responsibility in people’s lives, we pastors deal with death a lot. I have sat beside the bed of many people who were dying of disease, and then attended their funerals. I have watched Christians glorify God in death. I have seen families grieve over the death of one who gave no evidence of being reconciled to God. I have performed and attended one too many funerals for students who have died because of auto accidents, drug abuse, or suicide. But my most significant encounter with death was my father. He died in 1993. I was 27 years old and he was 67. He was one of my heroes. It was very difficult to watch him suffer and die.
I can understand a little of what in going on in this story, because I experienced it in my own life. Here we see a family walking through five phases of death. They experience (1) suffering, (2) waiting, (3) questioning, (4) grieving, and then finally, (5) death.
From their experience with death we learn five lessons about the life-giving power of Jesus.
Jesus: The Resurrection and the Life
1. In the midst of our suffering, Jesus has a greater purpose. (11:1-4)
2. In the midst of our waiting, Jesus has perfect timing. (11:5-16)
3. In the midst of our questioning, Jesus offers hope. (11:17-27)
4. In the midst of our grieving, Jesus has compassion. (11:28-37)
5. In the midst of our death, Jesus gives life. (11:38-57)