“Whoever believes in Me,
though he die, yet shall he live,
and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
- Jesus, to Martha (John 11:25-26)
Disillusionment and despair filled Martha’s heart as she hurried out of the house to confront Jesus on the road. Why hadn’t He come sooner? He could’ve healed Lazarus and saved them from anguish and grief. In their conversation that day, Martha affirmed her belief that her brother would be raised from the dead on the Last Day, according to the Scriptures.
Jesus then declared that He was “the Resurrection and the Life.” The keys to life and death were in His hands. The message Jesus had for Martha was this: “the resurrection life you believe will flood the earth on the Last Day is present in Me now.”
When people put their trust in Jesus, His resurrection power is released in their lives. We may die physically, but we cannot die spiritually. And what’s more, even physical death will be overturned by God on the Last Day.
The Resurrection of Jesus teaches us a vital truth: matter matters. The body is important. The Greek thinkers who believed matter to be evil and the spirit to be good were promoting a mindset foreign to the Jewish and Christian worldview. It is precisely because the body is valuable and God’s creation good that God has chosen to reclaim and redeem it, to stomp out the sin and destruction unleashed upon His beautiful world in the Garden of Eden.
We may taste death before Jesus returns, but one thing is certain: our coffins will not stay closed. Just as on Easter morning the grave could not hold Jesus, at the trumpet call of the Last Day, neither will the grave be able to hold the remains of those who are “in Christ.”
What was true of our Messiah in the dim light of Resurrection morning will be true of us in the noonday sunshine of the Last Day.
Our Lord is risen and exalted.
Though we die, yet shall we live. We too await the day of our bodily resurrection, when we will receive the transformed and eternal bodies that God has prepared for us.