by the Rev. Henry Huenemann
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 11:25).
21Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
28And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.
29As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.
30Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
31The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
32Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
33When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
34And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
36Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
37And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
38Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
The wages of sin is death. All men have sinned and are therefore subject to death. Death is a terrible thing. God said to Adam: "In the day that thou eatest thereof (the forbidden tree) thou shall surely die." Adam did eat, and he died; not the physical death immediately, but the spiritual death. Physical death is the separation of soul and body, but spiritual death is the separation of the person from God; that means an existence in eternal torment. By nature all men are subject to this death and hell. Our case would be utterly hopeless indeed if God had not found a way of salvation. He did, but that meant that He had to deliver up his Son, his only Son, unto death and hell. He did. And his Son, "descended into hell, " that is, He suffered in his soul "the inexpressible anguish, pains and terrors" of hell, when He was forsaken of God, and thus redeemed his people from the torment of hell. Now for the believer death is "abolished .... swallowed up." It no longer exists; for he has passed from death unto life. He shall never see death. Christ is the resurrection and the life. And Christ's life is his life. "Though he were dead, yet shall he live." Physical death for him is not death, but an entrance into life, eternal life, and death shall be no more. "Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
O God, we cannot sufficiently thank Thee, that we are delivered from death, that dread enemy. We thank Thee, that we have the assurance, that when we must pass through the valley of the shadow of death, Thou wilt not forsake us, as Christ was forsaken; but Thou wilt be with us to comfort us. Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort us. We thank Thee that we know that death is completely vanquished, and that we shall live for ever, because Christ died for us. Thine be the praise and the glory now and for ever. Amen.
Scripture in Devotional: Gen 2:17; 2 Tim. 1:10; 1 Cor. 15:54; John 5:24; 8:51; 11:25; Rev. 21:24; 1 Cor. 15:57.
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