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Thursday, April 1, 2010

No One Died When Jesus Was Present

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). Martha spoke these words to Jesus upon the death of her brother Lazarus. Was she right?

She was. No one ever died in Jesus’ presence. Death and Jesus, the source and giver of life, are mutually exclusive. When Jesus heard that Lazarus of Bethany was sick, He did not go to Bethany immediately, but stayed another two days where He was. He went to Bethany after Lazarus had died.

After arriving in Bethany, Jesus promised Martha that Lazarus “will rise again” (John 11:23). He also assured her that He is the resurrection and the life (v. 25). Accompanied by Martha and her sister Mary and other mourners, Jesus went to Lazarus’ tomb. There, he instructed the mourners to remove the stone that blocked the entrance to the tomb. Then He summoned dead Lazarus to come forth (vv. 39-43). Still bound in graveclothes, Lazarus hobbled out of the tomb—alive!

But didn’t two thieves die on crosses alongside the cross that held Jesus? Yes, but Jesus died before they did. Furthermore, He voluntarily dismissed His spirit after declaring, “It is finished!” (Read John 19:28-33.)

Jesus’ death on the cross was the ultimate act of amazing grace. He, the Prince of Life, died to give us life—eternal, blissful life. The apostle Paul exclaimed, “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 5:20, 21).

Death is every human being’s enemy, but “thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).

Have you claimed the victory by believing in Jesus Christ?