Once, a Sunday school teacher showed her class a picture of famous people gathered around God’s table in heaven. The teacher then asked, “Where are you in this picture?” The children were puzzled. Finally, a boy spoke up saying, “We can’t be in the picture, we’re not dead yet.” Such an understanding presents the resurrection as a distant and future reality.
Jesus’ announcement, “I am the resurrection and the life,” teaches us that the resurrection is closer than we may realize. Because of sin, every moment of human life occurs in the face of death. Yet, by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, our sins are forgiven and death has lost its sting. Therefore, the resurrection is not some far off point in time that we await; it is a present reality for those who know Christ as Lord and Savior. Because he lives, we too shall live.
In their grief, Mary and Martha see only the earthly picture, the one in which their brother Lazarus is missing. Jesus invites us to gaze upon the heavenly picture and to take our place at God’s table gathered with the saints of every time and space.
Prayer: Eternal God, we give you thanks for raising your people from death to life, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.