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John 11:14-46

Jesus is the Resurrection

  • Rich Jones
  • Weekend Messages
  • March 31, 2024

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest event in all human history.  Everything that came before looked toward it and everything since looks back to it.  God’s entire plan of the ages rests on that one historic event.  Not only that, it’s also personal — God’s entire plan for your life rests on that one historic event as well.

The resurrection, therefore, should be celebrated, but not just celebrated, the resurrection is something to apply to your life.  God is still moving; God is still bringing life out of death; He brings victory out of defeat; He brings beauty out of ashes.

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Jesus is the Resurrection
John 11:14-46
March 30-31, 2024

            The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest event in all human history.  Everything that came before looked toward it and everything since looks back to it.  God’s entire plan of the ages rests on that one historic event.  Not only that, it’s also personal — God’s entire plan for your life rests on that one historic event as well.

            The resurrection, therefore, should be celebrated, but not just celebrated, the resurrection is something to apply to your life.  God is still moving; God is still bringing life out of death; He brings victory out of defeat; He brings beauty out of ashes.

            How many of you would say, “God has changed my life, once I was blind, but now I see”?

             The word ‘resurrection’ literally means ‘to rise again,’ that which was dead can live again.  We all have a physical body and these bodies of ours are all going to die.  The statistics on death are pretty impressive.  I think it’s something like one out of every one is going to die.  At this point, you might be saying, “Wow, very encouraging, pastor, man, I’m really glad I invited my friends.”

             Here’s the thing, these bodies of ours are made of dust –and to dust they will return.  But we are more than just physical bodies.  We have a soul and spirit. In fact, your soul is the most important part of who you are. Your soul is eternal.

             If you’re older than 25, your body is already starting to get old, and you’re already headed for the grave.  The older you get the more you know that’s true. But what about your soul?  Your body is destined for the grave, but what about your soul?

             I’ve been a pastor a long time and have done many funerals.  I’ve done funerals where the person in the casket was more alive than half the people in the room.  Yes, their body was dead, but their soul was very much alive and in the presence of the One who gave life to their soul. 

            Jesus conquered death so you can live.  He came that you might have life and have it to the full.  He came to bring life to those who were dead by the shedding of His blood on the cross.  The blood of Jesus changes everything.

            The cross used to be a symbol of death and suffering.  It struck fear in the hearts of those who lived in the days of the Roman Empire.  Because of Jesus and what he did for us on the cross that day, even the cross itself has changed its meaning.  Today, it’s a symbol of hope. That’s why we put crosses on graves and people wear them as jewelry. It’s a symbol of hope.

            Without hope there is no life.  I read an article the other day that the rate of suicides among young people has skyrocketed.  Why is that?  Because they lack hope.  Deaths from drug overdose have also skyrocketed.  Why?  They have nothing to live for; life has lost all meaning.  They are empty and have lost their way.

           Do you have hope?  What do you put your hope in?  In the advancement and evolution of man that one day man can build Utopia on earth?  In the advancement of technology?  The technology of destruction is advancing as fast as the advancement of those things which are good.  Do you put your hope in politicians?  You don’t even need to answer that one.  I’ve never seen things as messed up as they are today.

           When Jesus rose from the grave, death was defeated.  He made a way for you to have relationship to God as your Father.  He promised that the presence of the living God would be with you, that He would be a rock on which you can build your life.

           John 11 is the story of Jesus raising a man from the dead.  This happened just days before Jesus Himself would be betrayed, arrested, and crucified… And raised from the grave on the third day, just as He said.

           Why does Jesus raise Lazarus from death?  To strengthen their faith; to convince them that He is the resurrection and the life.  God wants to strengthen your faith as well.  When it comes to relationship to God, faith is everything.  If you believe, you will have hope.

I. Jesus Came to Give Life to Those Who are Dead

  • Verses 14-15 – Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and I’m glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe…”
  • Jesus strengthens their faith to prove that He came to give life to those who are dead. And before this story ends, He will make it personal.
  • Jesus didn’t come just to make bad people good; He came to make dead people alive.
  • Many people have the wrong idea about God. They believe that because they do things that are bad; that God is always mad at them. They think God is like that parent who’s always lecturing them to try harder.
  • The problem isn’t that you’re not trying hard enough; there is no self-effort that will make you right with God. The problem is that the soul that is dead needs to be made alive.
  • Jesus is the resurrection and the life; no man comes to the Father but through Him and the way to the Father is through the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

A. The same Spirit who raised Jesus dwells in you

  • The resurrection is not just for when you breathe your last breath here on earth and enter heaven…
  • God wants you to experience the resurrected life right now. He came to make dead people alive right now.  There are too many people who are dead in their souls even though they are living and breathing in their bodies.
  • That’s why suicide rates are up; that’s why people give themselves to drugs or alcohol; they’re searching for life. They’re empty and hurting inside.

John 10:10, “I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly.”

  • That life comes from the presence of God that comes into the soul of the one who believes.

Romans 8:11, If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you; He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.

  • Whatever you’re going through in this mortal life, God will be with you in it and bring life to it.

B. God moves because He loves you

  • When Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus, they said, “Lord, the one whom You love is sick.”
  • Notice what they didn’t say. They didn’t say, “The one who loves You is sick,” or, “the one who reads his Bible a lot is sick,” or “the one who gives a lot;” is sick.
  • Here’s the point, God is not motivated to help you because of your love for Him, or anything you do — it is because of His love for you.
  • But notice in verses 5 and 6, “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus, but stayed two days longer in the place where He was.”
  • God was intending to do that which was far beyond what they could even imagine; he allowed Lazarus’ death so He could strengthen the faith of them all when He raised Lazarus from the dead.

II. He Will Strengthen Your Little Faith

  • When Jesus arrived near Bethany where Lazarus was buried, Martha was the first to meet Him, while Mary stayed in the house.
  • She said, “Lord, I know that if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
  • Some suggest that Martha was correcting Jesus for not arriving in time to help her brother. But I’m convinced she was showing Jesus the faith she did have. She’s confirming her belief that Jesus was able to heal if He had only been there.
  • In other words, she’s not doubting His heart or His character, she knew Jesus could heal if He had been there. Martha had faith, if even a little. But Jesus wanted her to have more faith.

Illus – In Mark 9 there is the story of a father who comes to Jesus pleading that He help his son who is tormented by a demon. He said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity and help us!” Jesus replied, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”

Mark 9:24, Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief.”

  • There are many who would say the same thing to Jesus. “I believe, but I want to believe more; help my unbelief.”
  • Verse 22 — Even though Martha had lost hope that her brother would live, she still trusted Him.
  • It’s an important aspect of faith to trust in the Lord’s heart and character, even if you do not understand what is happening or why.

Illus – I read the story of a mother whose son was dying. A friend was trying to comfort her and said something that many people say, “Perhaps God will be good and save your son.” The mother said in response, “God is good whether He heals my son or not. I will not doubt His heart.”

Illus – When our daughter was murdered almost 10 years ago, I didn’t understand why, I couldn’t understand why. But I would not doubt God, I needed my faith.  Faith was an anchor for my soul.  That’s the time for your soul to declare, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

  • Martha didn’t ask for her brother to be raised because she didn’t believe it was possible.
  • People only seek what they believe is possible.
  • But Jesus wanted to increase her faith.

Matthew 19:26, And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

  • Limited faith often keeps people from seeking after greater things.

Ephesians 3:20, Now unto Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.

A. God’s simple question, “Do you believe this?”

  • Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection…” The resurrection is personal because the resurrection is a person. His name is Jesus Christ.
  • Then three times He said… “He who believes in me will live even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
  • That’s what God is asking. Do you believe?
  • Life may have come crashing down on you, but will you believe in Me? Jesus is saying. You need hope.
  • Maybe you had more faith in the past and haven’t walked with God in a long time. I am the resurrection, He says to you, I bring life where there is death. Will you believe?

Ephesians 1:18-19, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be opened, so that you will know… the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe; in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead.

B. You will find life only in Him

  • “I am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus said. That’s what resurrection is – it’s life to those who were dead.

Ephesians 2:1, 4-5, You were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world… But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us; even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.

  • Resurrection is about giving life to those who were dead.
  • Some of you are one sunrise away from having your life turned around. He is the resurrected King who is resurrecting you.
  • He takes the soul that is dead, discouraged, downhearted and defeated and brings newness of life.
  • He knocks on the door of your heart and calls out your name because God loves you and wants you to have a relationship with Him as your Father.

C. Jesus loves you this I know

  • “Jesus wept,” it says in verse 35. Why? He knew this would end with great rejoicing, but He wept because they were weeping, their hearts were broken, and it moved Him deeply. God has a heart of compassion.
  • God knows your hurts; He knows you’re broken within your heart. He Himself carries your griefs and your sorrows.
  • But He also knows how this will end. “He who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
  • He is the resurrection and the life…

Illus – In 2005, Death Valley came to life.  They called it a ‘super bloom.’  Death Valley is not dead; the seeds of life are there, under the surface of what appears dead, there are seeds, waiting to be brought to life.

Isaiah 35:1-2, The wilderness and the desert will be glad, it will rejoice and blossom like the crocus.  It will blossom profusely and rejoice with rejoicing and shouts of joy.

  • If you were to die tonight, would you be ready to meet God? You can have the assurance that you are right with God when you receive Him as Lord and Savior and ask Him to forgive your sin.
  • In Him there is the promise of eternal life, and life right here and now. Do you believe this?

John 11:14-46    NASB

14 So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.” 16 Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.”

17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off; 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. 20 Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house. 21 Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 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; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”

28 When she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she *got up quickly and was coming to Him.

30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, 34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They *said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?”

38 So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, *came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 Jesus *said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, *said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus *said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” 44 The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus *said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

45 Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.


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