Day 21 (Friday, March 29, 2019)


John 11:17-27

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.”


It is said that there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. We are happy to talk about the latter, but not discuss the former. Imagine asking a hostess at a dinner party if she had thought about her death recently…! It is the one remaining subject that is simply taboo. Yet it is the one ultimate certainty we all face. And there is only one person who claims he can do anything about it.

John has been telling us that life had been heating up for Jesus in Jerusalem. The Jewish leaders had attempted to stone him (John 10:31) for his apparent blasphemy. So Jesus left the city and went to the region east of the Jordan River. There he learned that his friend Lazarus, brother of Martha and Mary, was dying in the village of Bethany near Jerusalem. Hearing that Lazarus had died, and against the advice of his disciples who feared the Jewish leaders, Jesus returned to Bethany, where he was first met by Martha.

In the course of talking with her he made the amazing assertion: “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” He didn’t say, ‘I promise resurrection and life;’ or ‘I procure,’ or, ‘I bring’ but ‘I am.’ Unless he is one with God his words are nothing but blasphemy.

C.S. Lewis commented that Jesus was a liar or a lunatic, or he was telling the truth. The witness of the New Testament, the evidence of history, the existence of the Christian church, all point to the conclusion that Jesus’ words are the truth. As he asked Martha that day, so he asks us today, “Do you believe this?” If you do believe this, how will it effect your conversations with people you meet?


Almighty God, you have conquered death through your dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ and have opened to us the gate of everlasting life: grant us by your grace to set our mind on things above, so that by your continual help our whole life may be transformed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit in everlasting glory. Amen. (BCP, Easter Day)

Daily Reading Plan

Read John 11:1-27