“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25)
Where is your believing, dear Christian? Jesus tells you where it is – “Whoever believes IN ME!”
Little gets mixed up as much as faith in the minds and hearts of Christians these days.
A preacher gets up on TV. He’s polished, well-dressed, smiling great big pearly whites across the screen. He mesmerizes a whole coliseum full of people with his stories. Just before the program’s over, he wants you to pray with him that special prayer to get you into heaven.
Turn the TV off, dear Christian, and take a whiff of Lazarus, today. Pay attention to the Gospel from St. John, who tells us Lazarus had been inside the tomb four days when Jesus came.
Four days. What do you suppose Lazarus is up to? His sister knows. He’s putting up a stink. He’s moving from one stage of death and decay to another, and everyone can smell him for a half a mile.
To such a one, Our Lord does not show up like some TV preacher. “Lazarus, will you pray with me? Lazarus, if you’ll just come down the aisle and give your heart to me, then you’ll be mine!”
No way. Christ SPEAKS! The Word of God Made Flesh – through whom the Universe was formed – Who spoke and light shone from the darkness – THAT Jesus opens up His mouth and says: “Lazarus, come forth!” And by the Word of God, a dead man came to life again.
Don’t ever worry that you’ll have to get around to getting up that Last and final day, dear Christian. The Word of God will open up your grave and you will come out. He IS the Resurrection and the Life. He was your resurrection on the day you died and rose in Him through Holy Baptism. He is each time your pastor calls your sins forgiven. He won’t ever stop.
Go ahead and believe it. He’s raised you up with His own Word and Water. He’s breathed life into you with His speaking. He can do that. He’s the resurrection and the life, and so you live – and believe in Him! Amen
He lives and grants me daily breath; He lives, and I shall conquer death; He lives my mansion to prepare; He lives to bring me safely there. (LSB 461:7)