Week 12 Devo – TUESDAY

A Hope and Life That Never Die

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” —John 11:25–26

Jesus claims to be the Resurrection and the life. How are these two ideas connected?

As we saw and learned in week one of our study, the background to this statement was the death of Lazarus, a dear friend of Jesus Christ. Lazarus and his two sisters, Martha and Mary, lived in the small village of Bethany, about two miles from Jerusalem and situated on the eastern slopes of the Mount of Olives. Bethany was a serene country setting. The villagers worked hard and long in the vegetable and grain fields of the valleys in that vicinity.

Lazarus and his sisters were all devout believers in the Lord. They saw in Jesus the promised Messiah whose life and ministry had been so clearly prophesied in the Jewish Scriptures. When Jesus came to Jerusalem, they offered Him a place to live and food at their home. But on the occasion of the narrative of our text, this lovely scene had turned into a tragic one with great grief.

Lazarus, Jesus’ beloved friend, had suddenly become sick and died. Although messengers had sent for Jesus, four days passed, and Lazarus died and was buried before Jesus arrived. Lazarus’s sisters knew Jesus had the power to heal the sick, and they had hoped He would make it to their house in time to heal their brother.

But it was too late. Lazarus was dead. He’d been dead for four days. For the time being, it was a hopeless scene. And amid their grief, both Martha and Mary had forgotten that Jesus not only healed the sick but also raised the dead. So, when Jesus arrived, though He met Martha and Mary at separate times, they each said to Him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died” (John 11:21, 32).

Verses 33 and 34 tell us, “When Jesus saw [Mary] crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, he was deeply moved in his spirit and troubled. ‘Where have you put him?’ he asked. ‘Lord,’ they told him, ‘come and see.’” This is the juncture where we read one of the shortest Bible verses: “Jesus wept” (v. 35).

Yet earlier, in response to the sisters’ sorrowful statements, Jesus was already turning their hopelessness back to hopefulness by reminding them that He is the Resurrection and the Life. As we shall see in our remaining studies this week, the same Scripture passage reassures us that Jesus continues to be:

  • The Person of Hope
  • The Power of Hope
  • The Prerequisite of Hope
  • The Promise of Hope
  • The Permanence of Hope

Which of these is most intriguing to you? Why?

How have you already seen Jesus as some of these?

How is your belief in Jesus is shaping your hope right now?

How can the story of Lazarus and Jesus’ response inspire us to approach moments of grief and loss with a perspective of hope, especially when faced with circumstances that seem hopeless?