Track Group | 14.4

Track Group | 14.4

Track Group | 14.4

Hi Everyone and welcome to our fith Track Group Online!

We’re going to start something a little new… We’re going to look at the I AM statements that Jesus made. There were seven!… Can you think of any off the top of your head?

Well, today we are going to think about one that has a lot of connections with this time of year. We’re going to look at Jesus saying:

“I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE.”
John 11:25

For a lot of people right now mortality is thought about more than ever. Maybe even for you right now. I know I have been far more conscious of my elderly relatives or those around me with health concerns…

So what does it mean for Jesus to say that He is the resurrection and the life?

There are two contexts for this phrase…

1.When Jesus said it (John 11) and…
2.Easter time

Before we jump into those two different passages, let’s think about Heaven.
Our ideas of heaven come from so many different places… cartoons… songs…

Check out these three songs bellow and think about what is the singer saying about heaven.

What did you think of those songs?
What did you think about thier “heaven” imagery?
What do you think Heaven and eternal life might be like?
What will happen there?  Who will be there?

Christians believe that when their bodies die, they will get new bodies and live forever with God. The Bible says that heaven will be a place where there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:4). Jesus’ phrase: “I am the resurrection and the life” is clearly pointing to something in the future; but the context of when He said it points to a reality in the present too.

Let’s look at both of these contexts now…

John 11:1-43

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

Then Thomas said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus

On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles b from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
Jesus wept.
Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

What do you think Martha was asking when she said this in verse 22?

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Was she asking Jesus to bring Lazarus back to life?

According to Jesus, what must we do to have eternal life?

By raising Lazarus from the dead Jesus was able to use a terrible situation to bring some foreshadowing of what is to come. Jesus showed His power over death. For us to get access to this life, this resurrection, we can’t earn it or work for it… we only get it by faith in Jesus.

But what do we have faith in? Well that’s the second context.

Easter

The second context is all about the Easter story.
Which I am sure you know fairly well by now…
But here is a quick vdeo summary of the Easrter story at the end of the Gospel of Luke from The Bible Project.

When Jesus said the he IS the resurrection and the life He didn’t just mean he can bring people back to life…

He meant that HE IS the fulfilment of all the OT prophesies that point to God sending a rescuer to save His people by suffering death. He is the life. He is the resurrection. They aren’t just things that happen to Jesus.

When Jesus is resurrected on Easter Sunday he comes back as part of this new creation. When we say that Jesus is LORD (King) we become part of this resurrection people.

It’s all about:

HOPE / GRACE / LOVE / LIFE

All of this is BIG STUFF.

Check out this little video on The Kingdom of God.
This is what it’s all about. The Easter story is the moment Heaven and Earth are being reunited in Jesus and points to the future of New Creation when Jesus returns.

It’s still big stuff.

Check out this Bible Project video on how this all takes shape.
(Also, if you are nerdy like me… this was one of their first videos and look at how much they have developed over the years!)

Prayer Activity

Use some time to pray about how we can participate in God’s Kingdom breaking through here on Earth.

Where can you bring peace?
Where can you bring hope?
Where can you show love?

Close your time of prayer by saying the words of the Lord’s Prayer.

Our Father in Heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done
on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive
those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

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