“On journey to becoming whole-hearted followers of Jesus”
“I am the resurrection and the life…” John 11:25
In recent days I have enjoyed the Marvel Comic craze of movies such as Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, and The Avengers. These are tales of super heroes who do good by assisting, rescuing, and otherwise standing in for humanity in times of great distress. They represent men and women who do for people what they are unable to do for themselves—you know…”savior” types.
Marvel’s chief competitor, DC Comics, has a super hero of a different sort. He doesn’t wear a colorful costume, he has no cape, or suit of iron, nor does he carry a weapon as epic as Thor. He is known simply as Resurrection Man! The character has the power of self-resurrection, and with each resurrection he gains a different superpower that correlates with his death. Mitch Shelley, aka Resurrection Man, simply wanders America in search of the truth behind his past and his transformation.
As interesting as they may be (and in truth I’ve never actually read a comic magazine), they don’t quite hold the interest of someone who truly is THE Resurrection Man—Jesus. Imagine this scene: Lazarus, a good friend and supporter of the ministry, has passed away. His only surviving kin—two old maid sisters—are immensely grieved. You see, they had asked Jesus to come a week earlier, when Lazarus was still alive, but he delayed (the text indicates purposely so!!), and now it’s too late. He is gone. The funeral is over. The guests have returned to their homes and the house is quiet.
I find it interesting in John’s telling of the story, that the one who rushed out to see Jesus when he finally does arrive is the one who was so busy making dinner she didn’t have time to sit with Jesus and just “be.” It irritated her to no end that little sister Mary was just sitting there while Martha did all the work. Now Mary is still sitting at home, perhaps numb and shocked at all that has transpired. Death can do that…especially ones that are ill-timed. And Martha is the one who is seeking Jesus out!
I know not the motive (imagination here can be costly), but the force of Martha’s message is loud and clear—“Jesus, if you had been here, none of this would have happened!” “What took you so long?” Jesus says something about resurrection…but Martha is too occupied to get the message. It is then that Jesus utters one of his most famous “I Am” statements: “Martha, I AM the resurrection and the life.” “I AM Resurrection Man!!” And to prove it he raises her brother Lazarus out of his grave.
It isn’t too many days later that the three of them are attending another funeral—this time it is Jesus in the grave. Seriously! Can you imagine the chagrin, the brusque invasion of grief and confusion over this one? Here is Lazarus, the one dead, now attending the funeral on the one who had the power to raise him from his death. I suppose crazier things have happened…but not by much. Yet the third day reveals this truth: the one who raised Lazarus is the very one who has just raised himself—the ultimate Resurrection Man.
My point: because Jesus has risen from the grave, death is no longer an issue. Oh, given enough time these bodies of ours will fail. Yet, because He lives, there is nothing in my today or my tomorrow to worry about. Now what I get to do is travel this journey of life by faith, walking in intimacy and obedience with the one who give that life!! Wahoo! Sounds like that is a story worth reading! Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday!
Growing with you on the Journey, Pastor Dewayne