Joh 11:25  Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: Joh 11:26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

One of the greatest themes in the Bible is the Resurrection of Jesus. Without this truth revealed, everything else about God and the Bible become redundant. I am bold to state this knowing that as long as God is, so are we but were without life or revelation of who He is till Jesus came along. Even though the Old Testament people knew God and had some understanding, the final revelation of God is in Jesus and without that, there is no true revelation. Anyone who denies Christ Jesus denies God. Therefore, the advent of Jesus and His resurrection are equally critical to us to know and understand our co-existence with God. While He is alive, we cannot remain dead for this simple reason, He regenerated all who believe into the image of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus exemplifies this truth to us. When God makes statements like, “I knew you before the foundation of the world or before you were born etc.” Therefore, it make us understand that we were on His mind to create and make us one with Him.

 

In the prophecy of Ezekiel over dead bones, we see the resurrection of man in Israel clearly when the Spirit of God comes into flesh and bones. He never allowed His creation to remain dead but re-created His creation that was made in the flesh to become spirits through resurrection. This is the true “born again” experience when we are re-born or resurrected into spiritual life. That is to say mankind died when he sinned but rose again in the form that God took on Himself in Jesus. From then on, all who believe and walk in Christ are re-born and resurrected into new life that is eternal and like Jesus who is eternal life.

 

Death had taken hold of Lazarus the brother of Mary and Martha who had been dead for four days. This was not an issue for God but certainly an issue for man. Not only was death the problem but the time frame of death which had surpassed all hope of resurrection even if one wanted to believe. Yet, in death, God has no time frame established for resurrection. This is clearly exemplified in what took place at the crucifixion of Jesus. Mat 27:52  And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, Mat 27:53And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Not many have preached about this concept but it is written for us to understand that God is not limited by time to raise the dead. In time, all who have died in Christ will be resurrected for all to see and know. This is a “wow” understanding.

 

I have hope for many who are the living dead because God can save them even at the end of their lives. While death has a finality to it, there is hope for the ones who fear death. God puts that hope in those who fear death by the resurrection of Jesus. I remember fearing death before I became a born again Christian. I feared it so much that I believe it was one of the reasons I took drugs to forget I existed and would die one day. The other indicator that I feared death so much was, every time I hurt myself even in a trivial way physically, I ran to the doctor to find a solution. The day I was saved in the waters of baptism that fear left instantly. Now, when I think back on it, I realise how truly water baptism represents the death and resurrection of Jesus. In the waters of baptism the old man Noble died and the new man Noble was born as I confessed Jesus as my Saviour in true understanding of it.

 

If death cannot hold Jesus down and we believe in Him, death cannot hold us down. It merely acts as a doorway to glory. Death can be met head on by our natural and spiritual senses not just in braving it but truly knowing that we are saved. There are many in the world who will go to their death bravely but have no assurance of the future. This is not facing death for what it is, it is just human bravado. God changed death from being a fearful thing to behold by demonstrating His resurrection power in Jesus. It is this resurrection power that now gives life to all who believe. Rom_8:11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Resurrection is a bold statement to the principalities and powers in darkness who fear it because they will never be resurrected. They are already condemned to an eternal lake of fire and torment for their part in the first rebellion. It is hard for us to understand why they never received forgiveness for sins they committed like we did. Yet, we know that they are reserved in chains of darkness for eternity. I do not want to assume God’s grace because of His forgiveness but be grateful for His mercy toward us . The so called unconditional love of God is really conditional. Unless one accepts that Jesus died and rose again for them, that person cannot receive salvation because of unbelief.  Rom 4:24  But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Rom 4:25Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

 

The time has come for us to believe that Jesus is Lord and that death cannot hold us down. Many are sorrowing over dead relatives and friends and fear death for what it is. In a sense, they fear it rightly so because they have no hope. However, we who have that lively hope do not fear it and so we must spread that good news of life eternal to all who will listen. We know that not everyone will listen but we must save as many as we can.

 

Martha had lost hope in Jesus because He tarried four days in coming to save Lazarus her brother who had died. Jesus on the other hand had done it on purpose for the glory of God. You have to understand the contrasting nature of human thinking and reasoning versus God’s reasoning. Joh 11:40  Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Joh 11:41Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. Joh 11:43And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. Joh 11:44And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Human beings believe in the impossible in a negative way and God shows us that nothing is impossible for Him in a positive way. All life must realise that God is both Creator and life and hence can do anything. He can raise the dead, heal the sick and restore a person.

 

When we are faced with the impossible, we often time forget who God is. The dead end scenario in our lives always give into the inevitable. Yet, the supernatural is always speaking of a resurrection power. Today, miracles, signs and wonders follow the word like never before. The lame walk, the dead are raised and blind see and so many other miracles take place that all have to do with the resurrection power of Christ. This same power is made available to men who believe. If you believe, nothing shall be impossible with God for you. Mat_17:20  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. It takes the practice of faith in a natural world that is limited and faces death in everything, to believe that life can actually go on beyond death and can be resurrected back into this world after dying. When we look around us, we see death in all living things. There are more things that kill than which give life. In fact, as soon as a baby is conceived it faces death in some form or another. This is the original curse that was upon mankind because of sin. I call it death by dying. Yet, when Jesus came and conquered the grave, He gave us abundant life. Nothing in this world that has life escapes death but all that lives has the opportunity to live forever by the power of God in Jesus. This life giving source is the regeneration of mankind and all living things that God wants to give life to.

 

That life of regeneration is in the word of God that is spoken into us and is the same that we speak into others and into situations and circumstances. Resurrection is possible. No one need despair for life and what it brings because we have this life through the power of God in earthen vessels. That is why Apostle Paul writes in this way. Gal_2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. This new life is none other than the resurrected Christ life of the Son of Man. Till we are separated from this body we have this life in our flesh bodies that has life by His faith. The resurrected life on earth right now consists of, no fear, happiness, peace and an abundant life in the natural and spiritual. Not all is easy going as we have found out but no one can take what Jesus has done for us, if we die to self and live for Christ. This is the resurrected life; death to self.

 

May God open the eyes of our understanding and cause us to come to the fullness of His glory that we may participate in this resurrected life with all confidence of our future.

 

Lots of love

Pastor Noble     

16/04/2017