Sep 18th, 2017
Today we're looking at the fifth I Am statement in the book of John. It's from John chapter 11 verse 25, "I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in Me will live even if he dies."
Go ahead and open your bible to John chapter 5. Hold your place there and turn over to chapter 11. In John 11 starting in verse 1 Jesus is sent word that Lazarus is sick and He travels to Bethany where Lazarus and his family live knowing that Lazarus has already died. While there Jesus gets into a conversation with Lazarus' sister, that's verse 21. She laments that if Jesus had arrived earlier that Lazarus wouldn't have died. Jesus assures her that her brother will rise from the dead. You and I both know that death isn't a stumbling block for Jesus.
Go ahead and turn back over to John 5 in verse 21 Jesus says, "Just like the Father raises the dead and created life, so does the Son who also gives life to whomever He chooses." But, Jesus didn't just talk a big game where it came to the miracle of resurrection. In Luke 7 Jesus is heading into the town of Nain with the disciples and they're met by a funeral procession. A widow woman's only son was being carried out of town for a burial. The scripture says that when Jesus saw her his heart broke. He tells her not to cry, walks over to the coffin, places his hand on it, and tells the young man to get up. The dead son sits up and Jesus presents him to his mother.
In Luke 8 starting in verse 40 Jesus meets a man named Jairus whose twelve year old daughter is dying. The crowd is very large, so large that it's almost crushing Jesus and it takes some time for Him to tend to their needs. During that time one of Jairus' coworkers comes to tell him that his daughter has already died. Jesus goes to Jairus' house, takes the young girls hand, and tells her to get up. Instantly she starts breathing and gets up.
As believers in Christ death isn't a stumbling block for us either. Do you believe it? Do you believe what the scriptures say? Lets look at Romans 8 starting in verse 14 it says, "All who are allowing themselves to be led by the Spirit of God are children of God. (Is that you? Are you allowing the Spirit of God to lead your life?) For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading again to [fear of God’s judgment], but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons by which we [joyfully] cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies and confirms together with our spirit [assuring us] that we [believers] are children of God. And if [we are His] children, [then we are His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His spiritual blessing and inheritance], if indeed we share in His suffering so that we may also share in His glory."
Did you read what I just read there? Did you see it? Did you hear it? We've talked about this in previously, and it's very exciting. You should be excited by the message we just read. We have access to and move in the same miraculous power that Jesus did because we share in the spiritual blessing and inheritance that Christ walked in. That means that you have the same authority and power in you to see the lame walk, the blind see, the dead rise, and the oppressed set free.
I'll never forget when I was in Panama a young girl was carried out to our group in the street and laid on the ground while we were doing ministry. She had a succumb to a fever and been in a coma for several days. No one in our group was quite sure what to do about it and somewhat awkwardly most of the group, whether consciously or not, slowly put more and more distance between them and the girl on the ground. I couldn't though, I felt drawn to her side. At first I felt fear that I couldn't help, that I wasn't good enough, that I had come all this way only to let this girl and her family down, and that I had done it all in the name of the Lord and was doing a poor job in representing Him. Then I felt anger well up in my core. Anger at the fever, anger at death, anger at my fear, and anger at the devil. On instinct I placed my hand on her forehead and I heard a voice in my head tell me to tell the fever to leave; so I did. I felt her forehead almost instantly cool and she opened her eyes. Her mother and father began to weep and held their daughter kneeling on the ground with her. That is walking in the spiritual blessing and inheritance of Christ that we all have access to. Right? We all have access to it, we read it in Romans 8. We share in the spiritual blessing and inheritance of Christ.
Turn in your bible back to John chapter 5, hold your place again and turn back to chapter 11. In verse 24 Jesus tells Martha that Lazarus would rise again and she replies, "I know that he will rise [from the dead] in the resurrection on the last day." She says this because it's been ingrained in her religious studies; the prophecies of everyone being resurrected from the dead on the last day, then the judgement comes, and then eternity. Over in John chapter 5 verse 39 Jesus says, "You have your heads in the scriptures constantly searching and examining them because you think that you'll find eternal life there. But, you miss the point completely because those scriptures are all about me!" Jesus is standing there saying, "I'm right here!" You see the mistake the religious scholars of the time made and the mistake that so many make today is to buy into the lie that piety, religiosity, and/or scriptural knowledge can save their souls. I'm sure Christ is just as frustrated today as He was back then when so many reject His power in their lives for these substitutes that were just simply meant to point to Him when He is right here available to you, and me; to all of us.
Lastly the life that is in Christ, that is available to us isn't a competition. John chapter 5 verse 44 says, "If you spend your time competing for glory and approval from each-other how will you ever believe in Me and receive honor that comes only from God?" On the flip-side of that same coin John 12 says that a number of the leaders in the synagogue believed in Christ as the messiah, but wouldn't confess it for fear that the Pharisees would kick them out of the synagogue because they loved the approval of men more than the approval of God. Either of those situations invalidates salvation for you and denies yourself that place of sharing in Christs spiritual blessing and inheritance. But if you have faith in and trust Christ then you already have eternal life and access to that blessing and inheritance. So go out there and walk in it.
Until next time...