I’m four weeks into the Finding I Am Bible study, and this week is about Jesus as the Resurrection and the Life. I find that as I’ve been reading through this book, my desire to connect with God through his word has grown stronger.
This week’s study starts with the story of Jesus raising Lazarus. This has always been a fascinating story to me, not just because Jesus raised someone from the dead, but also in the dialogue between Jesus and Martha. In Martha’s eyes, Jesus had come too late. She had hope while Lazarus was alive that Jesus could heal him, but now he was dead there seemed to be no hope. She holds on to the doctrine of resurrection on the last day, but that’s it.
Jesus, though, is the source of all life. He can bring life into situations that we think are dead and without hope. Jesus spoke to Lazarus and this man who’d been dead four days – he was well and truly dead – walked out of the grave into renewed life. There are some aspects of my life that seem hopeless and without life, like the end result is never going to be achieved. My husband and I are saving for our own home. In the current housing market, it seems like an impossible task. Another thing that comes to mind is my driving. I’ve been scared of driving for many years, but I’m finally learning. It’s such slow progress, though, that sometimes I lose hope. These two things that are so important for the future, but I’m reminded now to keep putting them in Jesus’ hands. Do you have any situations like this?
Even when the prayers seem unanswered. Even when I still have questions and gaps in my understanding. Trusting that Jesus can bring life into dead situations. And even if the prayers aren’t answered in the way we hope, or they don’t come in this lifetime, we have a far greater promise of life ahead of us. The raising of Lazarus foreshadowed the resurrection life that Jesus has won for all who believe in him. No matter what happens in this life, I can have sure hope that I will one day be raised to eternal life in God’s presence.
I absolutely loved this quote from Lysa:
“The resurrection of believers is the glorious and great exclamation point to our grand love story with God”
This week’s study finished with another I AM saying – Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life. It’s a challenging one in our diverse society. Jesus is saying that outside of himself, no-one can come to the Father and be saved. People of other religions, people who don’t believe anything in particular, even some ‘church people’ are all on the wrong path. I don’t like to think of my non-Christian friends heading on the path to destruction. But Jesus’ statement is also very comforting. God has made a way for us to come to him, to be forgiven and have life – and it’s through Jesus. It’s reassurance for me, but it’s also a challenge for me to be sharing this truth with those who don’t yet know him.
Right back in the beginning, the devil deceived Adam and Eve into thinking they were missing out by following God’s ways. This is a problem still today. Do I sometimes look at the comforts and pleasures the world offers and feel like I’m missing out? Do I ever feel like God’s rules are stifling and a little old-fashioned? These thoughts are deceptive, like those thoughts all those ages ago in Eden. The truth is, God’s ways bring life and freedom. We’re not missing out by following God – quite the opposite, we have life to the full. We have a joy greater than anything this world could offer, and the sure hope of eternal resurrection life.
In what ways do you experience God’s resurrection life? What does it mean to have life to the full?