South Sydney Anglican Church

Jesus is the Resurrection and the life

Bible Passage: John 11: 17-71

Big idea

Jesus is the Resurrection and the life, whoever believes in him will live even though they die. Do you believe this?


Good Morning! My name is Matt and It’s a pleasure to be here.

Has anyone every asked you the Question: “Do you Trust me?” It’s such a loaded question isn’t it? Because you you know that if you say yes, that trust will be tested.

One of my Brothers once asked me this very question, before an activity at a camp. Now my brother Is 6 years so at the time, I was probably 12-13, I was a camper and he was a leader. And I trusted my brother so I said yes.

So there are these two big burly blokes holding a plank of wood between them. And the idea was that I would stand on the plank, they would lift me up, and I would jump off and my brother would catch me.

Except, I’m blindfolded the whole time. But it’s okay, because as I’m being blindfolded my brother tells me that at no point will I be in any danger, and that he’ll be there to catch me.

I stepped onto the board and it wobbled constantly, and I could hear the voices around my getting lower and lower as I was lifted up, one kid even said “he’s going to hit the roof.” At the top wobbly as I was, my brother said “Jump.” And so I jumped. And my feet immediately smacked into the floor and I fell into my brothers arms. Turns out that I wasn’t being lifted up and up, but everyone else around me was getting lower and lower. I was only ever 10cm above the ground.

I’m not the only one who has put their trust in someone else, who has believed their words. In fact in the passage, we are looking at today in John 11 we’ll see Jesus ask Martha to believe him.

Some talks that you listen to are like a cabinet, etc

This talk is like spaghetti and meatballs, you’ve got the pasta, the meatballs and the sauce. And as you’re eating you’ll have some pasta and then a meatball and then have some more pasta. So there are three points, but we’re not going to finish each one before we move on,don’t worry, we’ll come back for seconds.

So today we’ll be considering:

Can Jesus be trusted?

Jesus’ Big Claim

Belief in Jesus

We’re in John 11

Can Jesus Be trusted?

Good question, you should ask if you can trust someone before you believe them.

I trusted my brother so easily because I had a good history with him. And Jesus also has a good History.

He has a good history with a lot of people as he has been healing the sick and teaching everywhere he goes.

In John 11 Jesus is teaching by the Jordan River when a messenger arrives from Jesus dear friends Mary and Martha, and their message is that “Lord, the one you love is sick.” That’s an interesting message isn’t it. “the one you love is sick,” they didn’t even say who it was. Think for a moment if you received that message, who would that person be? Jesus knew this was Lazarus their brother who was sick, he loves him. And he knows that it’s Lazarus  because he has a good history with Mary, Martha and Lazarus,

But let’s think about it again “the one you love is sick,” when would you start sending messages like that to the people close to you? A family member is sick, when do you send this message. You wouldn’t do it if they just had a cold, no this a message telling Jesus that Lazarus’ sickness is deadly, they know that he has the power to heal, they’ve seen it before, and they know Jesus can save him.

And so we expect Jesus to leave to save his friend, but instead he says V 4 “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” And then he waits two more days. Until his friend, the one he loves has died.

Jesus let’s his friend die

Seems interested in his own glory

It’s only after he dies that he tells his disciples that Lazarus has fallen asleep, so he needs to wake him up, but he’s actually talking about natural sleep but his death.

Key distinction

And then hear this v14 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

He’s glad he wasn’t there, what does he mean? Well lets continue.


Jesus and his disciples travel for 4 days and arrive at Bethany, where Martha and Mary live, and Martha comes out to meet Jesus and she says V21 “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus replies “your brother will rise again.” It’s not your traditional words of comfort is it. No “I’m sorry for your loss” here, instead your brother will rise again.

It’s true, but it’s not exactly a pastorally sensitive comment. It doesn’t help in the immediate circumstances.

Martha Knows her OT and says:  “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Then Jesus makes this Big Claim

V 25-26 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”

If you’re confused by this statement that’s perfectly understandable. Think about it, I am the “resurrection.” What is the resurrection? The Resurrection is an Event, it’s like Jesus is saying “I am Christmas.” It’s an odd statement.

The resurrection is an event that will occur on the last day, when God will judge the world. On it the dead will rise, and everyone will be judged and either go on to have an eternity of life with God, or an Eternity of Shame and contempt. (Dan 12:2)

When Jesus says he is the resurrection, what he’s saying is that he is the one who raises the dead to life, he has power even over death.

But he claim’s not just to be the Resurrection, but also the life

He is the one who gives life without end, life for eternity.

This is how he describes it:

The one who believes in me will live, even though they die

whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

Jesus claim is that he is the Resurrection and the life, and that whoever believes in him will have eternal, everlasting, life.

It’s a massive claim, and there are two problems with it.

  • Proof

First off this is the kind of claim that really needs proof.

When I was in high school, I would regularly drink a litre of milk for my lunch, and got really good at it, eventually I could down my litre of milk in 60 seconds. I even proved it a few times. But this is like me making the claim that I can drink 40L in 60 seconds. It just doesn’t seem physically possible.

Yes Jesus has healed people before, but giving life to the dead is on an entirely different level. And the people know this, 3 times in this passage says that he could have healed him, but now that he’s dead it’s too late.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

  • The second problem is the problem of Sin

You see you and I are sinners; we don’t love God the way we should, nor do we love others the way we should. The bible says that the wages for sin is death, (Rom 6:23) at the resurrection, what I deserve and what you deserve is eternal death shame and contempt. Because we have sinned against the Good, Just and Eternal God. But Jesus is claiming that if you believe in him, you will have eternal life.

Jesus Makes his big claim:

V 25-26 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”

Then he asks Martha: Do you believe this?

Belief in Jesus

  • What does it mean?
  • To believe – isn’t just knowledge it actually affect how you act. Actions flow out of belief. When my brother told me I wasn’t going to be in danger and told me to jump I did, because I believed him.

Let’s look at Martha’s response:

Even though she didn’t save her brother and now he’s making this huge claim. She says:

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Relationship between Resurrection and life, and Messiah may not be immediately obvious, but the messiah was promised to rule over a kingdom that would never end. How can you have that unless you have a King who has power over death?

Martha believes, and she send Mary to Jesus

And Mary says: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

He asks where they laid Lazaraus and they go to the tomb. And V 35 Jesus weeps, he crys because his friend has died, such that the people around say, “see how he loved him!” Even though he knows what he is about to do, he weeps because he cares for his friend.

They arrive at the tomb and Jesus tells them to take away the stone, but Martha tells him,  “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

Lazarus’s body would have been rotting, like a dead kangaroo on the side of the road.

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

And Jesus says in a loud voice “Lazarus, come out!”

44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

Lazarus is alive! Jesus raised him from the dead, rotting flesh restored. It is amazing!

And how do the people respond?

Many of the crowd see this, they are right there, and they believe in Jesus.

But there are others, the pharisees, who hear the news and aren’t amazed that Jesus raised someone from the dead, instead they are worried, because people are believing in him. They are worried because they think that if the romans hear about this they will crackdown on their nation. And Caiaphas not even realizing the truth of what he was saying prophesied saying: V50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

It’s better that one innocent man, Jesus, die than the whole nation perish.

Because that’s exactly what Jesus planned to do, remember that problem of sin, well Jesus, the only one deserving of eternal life, the only one who’s perfectly loved God and his neighbour. He died in our place, taking the punishment we deserve and offers us eternal life. That’s what Christians celebrate each year at Easter, that Jesus died for our sins, that we can be forgiven. But he doesn’t stay dead. He is the Resurrection and the Life and so he came back to life.

So thinking about what we have heard today

Can Jesus be trusted? Yes

He has a Good History

Yes he let his friend die but he didn’t let him stay dead.

Yes he seemed interested in his own glory, but that was also for our benefit so that we could know the truth

He wept, he truly cares

What about his big Claim That he is the Reusurrection and the life?

Well the Proof is given

And the Sins forgiven.

He is the only one able to give eternal life, and it’s for those who believe in him.

So now the question becomes

Do you believe in him?



We know what’s going to happen to us when we die. E.g. my grandfather

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Dear Lord, I know that am a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, and that he died for my sins. Please help me to live as a believer of Christ, trusting in him as my Lord and Saviour. Amen

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