Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?
Jesus was proclaiming another one of His “I am” statements about who He is. He had already told His listeners that He is ‘the light of the world,’ ‘the bread of life,’ ‘the good shepherd,’ and ‘the door.’ He also said in John 8:58, “Before Abraham was, I am.” In Exodus 3:14, when Moses saw the burning bush and wanted to know who was sending him back to Egypt. God answered, “I am that I am.” And tell them ‘I am’ sent you. Jesus was proclaiming His eternal nature and revealing that He is God in His “I am” declarations.
Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life” to one of His close friends, Martha. Lazarus was dead and they were all grieving, wondering why Jesus didn’t come in time to heal their brother. Lazarus had been in the tomb four days, so in Martha and Mary’s mind, it was over. But not in Jesus’. He proclaimed that whoever believes in Him would live, and Martha said she believed that, but knew it would be “on the last day.” That doesn’t help now.
But Jesus had something up His sleeve. Jesus wasn’t going to just proclaim that He is the Lord of life and death, He was going to show it. And then Jesus did the unthinkable: He opened the tomb and called “Lazarus, come forth” and out he came. They didn’t have to wait for Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection to know that He really held the keys to life.
When you’re sitting at a funeral, remember these words. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. If we believe in Him, death isn’t the end. Actually it’s just the beginning of eternal life in perfect Heaven. Best of all, it is with Jesus. Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 5:8 that when we are absent from the body we are home with the Lord. Those who do not know Jesus do not have this promise. They await an entirely different fate.
If you believe in Jesus, take comfort. It will be a quick transition from this life to our next one in Heaven. Also, if you believe in Jesus, make it your goal to tell as many people as you can about the absolute necessity of trusting in Jesus in order to see eternal life in Heaven.