On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”
How often do we try to let Jesus impact a little of our life but not all of our life? We have no problem with surrendering this part of our life or that part, but there are some parts that are just way too risky to surrender. And seriously, Jesus didn’t really expect me surrender everything, did He? I’ll surrender the way I talk, no problem. But, don’t even think about coming after my inner thoughts. I’ll give up R-rated movies, but my music is something else entirely. How about a couple hours on Sunday, maybe… Saturday night, most definitely not.
Martha, like most of us, just didn’t get it. She believed Jesus was the Messiah… So do I. She believed that Jesus was God’s Son… So do I. I go even further than she did… I believe Jesus died on a cross to pay for my sin and I believe He was buried and came back to life. But believing He died for me and brought Himself back to life isn’t enough. Not by itself.
Jesus asked Martha if she believed He was the “resurrection” and that anyone who believed in Him would never die and she dodged the question with a perfect Sunday School answer. “Is Jesus the resurrection?” “Um, uh… Jesus is the Son of God!”
Martha loved the idea that Jesus was the Messiah, but she couldn’t wrap her mind around the idea that Jesus was the Resurrection. She was standing right in front of the embodiment of the power over death and just couldn’t get it. And because she couldn’t figure that out, she wouldn’t let Jesus impact everything in her life.
Jesus’ power over death – being the “resurrection” – changes everything about everything. But only if you believe it’s true.