The resurrection of Lazarus in John 11:1-46 is one of my favorite passages from God's Word. It brings to front one great reality of God and that is His eternal "now". That's a term I borrow from Oswald Chambers. I'll take you right to the point to show you why the eternal "now" of our Lord Jesus Christ is so important.
Mary and Martha both lamented to Jesus, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." All around Himself Jesus saw the signs and heard the words of unbelief. He groaned within Himself and openly wept for these. Nevertheless, in His unsurpassable grace, mercy, and power, He said to Martha, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
Did you see the "now"?
Jesus said, "I am...." I am - right NOW! Standing before your very eyes. No waiting necessary. No tomorrow. No uncertain time in the future. NOW. I am. Present tense. Do you believe?
Do you know the power and presence of "I am" right now? This term "I am" is actually a very special name God reserved for Himself. It is how He introduced Himself to mankind through Abram in Genesis 15:7 right after this excellent interchange:
"And he (Abram) believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness. And he said unto him, I am the LORD...."
It is how He magnified Himself to Moses and Israel in Exodus 3:13-14, "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
It is how Jesus declared Himself God to a hard-hearted people in John 8:58, "Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am."
It is how Jesus proclaims the eternality of God in Revelation 22:13, "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last."
Christians are often ignorant or confused about the "when" of eternal life. Does it start at birth, salvation, death? When? This is an oxymoronic question. Eternal life has no beginning or end. No starting point.
We are beings created in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27) When sin came along, it did not put an end to our eternality. It changed our destination. In the beginning we had perfect "one" relationship with God, a perfect "now". Sin brought the curse of death and separation from God and this condemnation:
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." - John 3:18
We are conceived and born in sin. Thus we are separated from God. We are still eternal, and we still have eternal life, but it is a life apart from God condemned to hell. Upon salvation, we are raised to a new life through the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now our eternal life is brought to a new destination, back to what it once was in perfect creation before the "Fall". It is the answer to Jesus' prayer in John 17:20-24, "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world."
This leaves you, Christian, with one final question. It is a question that can help you to know for certain that you are saved. Perhaps you answered in the affirmative Jesus' question as He posed it to Martha, "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
Do you believe right now? If so, Jesus said that you will be with Him where He is and behold His glory right now. Here's the question....
Are you beholding His glory right now?
Enjoy the blessings in heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
Copyright 2009 Lawrence J. Caldwell