Scripture: John 11:17-27,38-44
Key verses: (17-27) 17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”
Reflection: “In Life and in Death, we belong to God,” begins the Brief Statement of Faith of the PCUSA. These are words of comfort offered over and over again in the church. They evoke faith and hope. We almost never say the words to someone at the death of a loved one and then ask them, “Do you believe this?”
Jesus asks this question of Martha while her brother remains dead in the tomb. She had already said that she believes that he will rise again on the last day. So what is Jesus asking her?
Resurrection is not something that happens only after death and neither is eternal life. Both are a reality today for those who believe in Jesus Christ. The hope we find in Jesus is resurrection from the moment one believes. Jesus is asking because he wonders if she gets that it is more than hope in death. Jesus wants her to have hope in life, today and tomorrow. Martha is the first disciple to make a confession of faith and she does it boldly. Martha affirms her faith in Jesus as the one who breaks into our world and into our lives. Do we believe this?
Prayer: God, my hope is in you and in your son who is the resurrection and the life today and tomorrow. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].