Power Over Death
Does Jesus Christ have power over death? Can He raise the dead? Can He raise me after I’m dead? Those are life’s big questions. Trusting Jesus as your Savior gives you a lot of great benefits, but by far the greatest gift is eternal life after death.
Read John 11:1-44.
So, does Jesus have power over our deaths? To answer that, the Gospel of John takes us to the home of siblings, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus—good friends of Jesus. The sisters got word to Jesus that Lazarus was sick.
Surprisingly, Jesus deliberately delayed going to Bethany until after Lazarus died. Lazarus’ death was for a purpose, Jesus said, so He could raise him from death.
For a believer, death means “separation.” The body dies, but the soul of the one who trusts Jesus goes to be with Him—“absent from the body … present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Saved or lost, all of us enter eternity. Many hope death means extinction, but it doesn’t.
When Jesus finally showed up four days after Lazarus died, broken-hearted Martha and Mary’s first words to Him were, “If you had only been here . . .” (v. 21).
They revealed a wonderful faith in Jesus, but not one that reached beyond death. Martha believed in the resurrection and that she would one day see her brother again, but Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life” (v. 25).
If you want to know how God feels about the death of your loved ones, be comforted by how Jesus grieved with Mary and the mourners. Those watching Jesus thought He cried because He loved Lazarus, but—really—He cried because He loved the living who mourned.
Jesus then asked for the stone that sealed Lazarus’ grave to be rolled away. Martha, ever the practical one, reminded Jesus that the body would stink.
Read John 11:40-47.
After He prayed, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” And there at the mouth of the cave came Lazarus, bound hand and foot in his grave clothes, with even his face wrapped up.
Because of this miracle, many believed on Jesus. But others began to stir up the Pharisees for trouble. For this reason, this miracle marked Jesus’ last public appearance before His death.
The bloodhounds of hate were on Jesus’ trail. John 11:53-57 marks the beginning of the end—from this day forward, the Pharisees conspire how to kill Jesus. They feared His many miracles would spark a revolution. Fear kept them from believing—the same reason many run from Jesus today.
Jesus’ showing of His power over death is the breaking point.
Next, walk with Jesus in the last weeks of His life.