This beautiful promise comes from a story told by the apostle John, one of Jesus’ closest friends (John 11:1-43). Jesus was speaking to Martha who had a sister named Mary and a brother named Lazarus. Lazarus had died four days ago, and the sisters were grieving the loss of their brother. From their perspective, it was over. There was no hope and they were wrestling with the implications. However, Jesus was about to do something that not only would show great compassion for this family but would also reveal something about who He was.
Jesus wept as he saw the pain of Lazarus’ loved ones gathered. He empathized with them. But Jesus also offered hope to the sisters, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” This was shocking. By saying he was the resurrection and the life, Jesus claimed that he was equal to God! Then Jesus backed up his claim by raising Lazarus from the dead. As you can imagine, there was great rejoicing and amazement as people no longer processed what life would be like without Lazarus, but processed what life is like with Jesus.
And this is why we celebrate Easter. Jesus made many other claims that he was God. He performed many signs and miracles to back up those claims. But the most important one was his own resurrection from the dead! “I have authority to lay down my life and to raise it up again!” John 10:18 The fact that Jesus can offer hope in this life and hope beyond this life is the reason to celebrate. Christ is Risen!!! He is risen indeed!