Lazarus’s sisters were crushed. The brother who they loved so much had been taken away from them by the cruel enemy called Death. They had sent word to Jesus that He was sick, knowing that if Jesus could get to Lazarus quickly, he would not die. But hours turned into days and Lazarus died.
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. John 11:5
After Jesus finally arrived back to Judaea, Martha poured out her heart to Him. Her confidence in His power was unshaken but in her grief she could not grasp the deep purposes of God.
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:23-27
We cannot go on without gleaning some gems from this short discourse. It is obvious by Martha’s words that she understood that her brother was dead – not in heaven looking down upon them. Her expectation, rightly so, was that not until the resurrection foretold in the scriptures, would her brother live again.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:2
But more to the point of our discussion was the promise Jesus repeated that day.
He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. John 11:25
This is beyond the comprehension of man to fully understand but not beyond our ability to accept. From the beginning man was not created to die. We scarcely begin to live before the shadows of death slowly creep across our path. Our zest for life, our loves and hopes and dreams, all will end as we enter death’s door. But that’s not the end of our story.
Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. John 5:25-29
This week as we study Death and Resurrection, what better outcome could there be than for us to recommit ourselves to Christ? What could be more profitable than understanding what it will take to be in the resurrection of life? And what can be more satisfying than helping others to share in this hope.
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord Isaiah 1:18
Here are a few Hit the Mark questions for this week’s lesson discussion:
- Why does it matter if one falsely believes that everyone goes to heaven when they die?
- Is it true that the fear of going to hell should motivate us to live right? Why or why not?
- Is it true that all good people will eventually go to heaven? Explain your answer.
- John 5:29 says “those who have done good” will be in the resurrection of life. What does “done good” mean to you?
- Is the following statement True, Mostly True, Somewhat True or Not True: Understanding the truth about the state of the dead is not crucial to your growth as a Christian. Explain your answer.
We close these week with the heart-warming words written to the believers in Thessalonica. Jesus is the resurrection and the life:
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
Until next week, let’s all continue to Hit the Mark in Sabbath School!
For online lessons please visit http://www.ssnet.org/lessons/14c/less11.html