Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life.
John chapter 11 reveals how the Lord Jesus gave life to one already dead--in other words, how He raised the dead. He was able to raise the dead and He caused a dead man to be resurrected, but instead of saying "I raise the dead" He said "I am the resurrection." Shortly after He said this, He did indeed raise the dead. Both Mary and Martha were present that day. According to their sentiment, it seems far more appropriate for Him to say, "don't worry about your brothers death, for I can raise him up." We like to hear such words. What we admire and anticipate is that God will do more for us. Frequently our prayers and expectations before God are for the promise that the Lord will do this and so for us. Yet the Lord especially wishes us to see that it is not what He can do but what He himself is, For His doing is based on His being.
Consider Martha, she believed in the Lords power. She said the Him, "Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died." So also did Mary believe? But both failed to perceive that the Lord himself is the resurrection and the life. May we notice that all which God can do is included in what He is? People do not receive the power of God because they do not know who He is. "He that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarded of them who seek after Him" (Heb. 11:6).
What the Lord Jesus wishes to tell us here is not that He is able to preserve life but that He himself is life; not that He can raise the dead, but that He himself is the resurrection. Let us ask God to open our eyes to see who other Lord really is. We must see that, before God, Christ is everything to us. With such understanding we will make real progress in spiritual matters. It is imperative for us to realize that with God there is no such thing but Christ! Our real progress in spiritual matters depends on our grasping this spiritual reality--do we know God himself or know only the things God has done?
Jesus didn't just raise Lazarus from the dead; He was the resurrection to Lazarus. It is well for us to understand that all of Gods workings in Christ are embodied in this principle. The Lord declares, "He is the resurrection and the life." Since He is the resurrection, it presents no problem whatever for Lazarus to be raised up. We believe the Lord did raise Lazarus from the dead, but the emphasis was on having the Lord himself. The resurrection of Lazarus is really not a tremendous phenomenon; but knowing the Lord Jesus, as resurrection is a matter of great significance.