These words were spoken by our blessed Lord to Martha who had chided Him
for His seeming tardiness in coming to them at the time of their brother
Lazarus' illness. "If thou hadst been here,
my brother had not died." To this Jesus replied, "Thy
brother shall rise again." This she knew, for her faith was
strong and her understanding, up to a point, was clear. "I
know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Our Lord's further reply to this gave to her and gives to us as it
has to nearly two thousand years of the Christian witness the
summation of our creed, belief and witness, that the Resurrection is the
very cornerstone of Christianity. No other religion can promise that, no
religious leader of any faith can make that promise and assertion. Let
interfaith leaders ponder this deeply, before selling the Christian pass
to humanists and other do-gooders, and even to an ecumenism which enrols
those who would jettison basic Christian doctrines.
"I am the resurrection and the life: he
that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: AND
whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou
Later her sister Mary came to Him, with the same rebuke. Imagine the
sorrow and heart-agony of our Lord, here, His closest friends had failed
to perceive and to trust fully. No wonder He groaned in the spirit. No
wonder He wept!
He had previously stated, "This sickness
is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might
be glorified thereby." Later He said, "Our
friend Lazarus sleepeth … but I go that I might awake him out of sleep
… Howbeit Jesus spake of his death," which had certainly
taken place in the four days before the command to "Come
All of this was but six days before Palm Sunday and the Passover. Now
the issue was clearly before the chief priests and the council. Their
spies had fully reported this to them. The issue was thus revealed. It
could no longer be ignored. This Man who proclaimed that He was the Son
of God, could forgive sins, could heal the sick, could feed the
multitudes, had now revealed that He could raise the dead. It was to
Then Caiaphas pronounced the verdict of what we in our terminology
would call Deicide: "Ye know nothing at all,
Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for
the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not
of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus
should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also
he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered
abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put
him to death."
Caiaphas seems to have had a fear, an obsession if you will
concerning these "Children of God scattered
abroad." On another occasion he had asked, "Whither
will He go that we cannot come? Will he go to the dispersed among the
gentiles, (Greek-Hellenes) and teach the gentiles"
(nations)? The existence of the descendants of ten-tribed Israel
(Hellenes), and of Benjamin was, in the main, known to them. And He, on
Whom he already passed judgement, had said that the Kingdom of God would
be taken from them and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits
thereof. He had also said that their house would be left unto them
desolate. So, one man must die!
But his faith and beliefs could not absorb Resurrection truth. He did
not believe the Son of God's words that "no
man taketh my life from me", that He had "the
power to lay it down and the power to take it up again";
that "the corn of wheat that dieth bringeth
forth much fruit," as our Lord said on the occasion of the
Greeks' (Israelites?) visit.
Easter, the Passover, brought salvation; Easter brought Redemption.
Resurrection brought the destruction of the power of death. Easter
brings Life, eternal life. "Believeth thou
The believer in Christ doesn't die. He is of the church, the body of
Christ, of which He is the Head, and His body doesn't die twice! We
shall be changed. This mortal must put on immortality. But we don't die!
"He that liveth and believeth in me shall
never die." Could anything be clearer?
But what about redeemed Israel, these children of God that were
scattered abroad? In Paul's great Epistle to those that be in Rome
called saints, chapter 11, he speaks to the gentiles (nations),
addressing national Israel the whole 12 tribes, saying that God had
not cast them off. "God forbid"!
Quite the reverse, He speaks of their diminishing, their fall, but also
their fullness. And in a National Resurrection theme (see Ezekiel's
theme in the valley of dry bones illustration). Paul concludes: "For
if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall
the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?"
The time of the restoration of national Israel (not Israelis) is
here. Israel has been redeemed. Israel must acknowledge her redemption.
Israel must know that this means adoption - as the sons of God. And she
will! No wonder Ciaiphas is worried! For it is 12-tribed Israel's
restitution that is at hand, an Israel rejoicing in resurrection power!