If Martha had never had any doubts, if she hadn’t had an honest conversation with Jesus about them, we may never have been exposed to the truth Jesus revealed in answer to those doubts. “If only You had been here, Jesus.” How often do we think the same thing?
But Jesus responds to those doubts with, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” (John 11:25-26).
Do we believe this? The cross is central to our lives, but the cross without the resurrection is ineffective. It becomes a relic, a symbol with no power. The cross’s power is in the resurrection. That’s why we are a resurrection people. We weren’t created to die. Yet how many of us have walked through the valley of the shadow of death? There is never a right moment for death or for loss, but it touches all our lives. Jesus is the resurrection, the answer to death.
And not only that. He is the life, the life that can’t be seen or dissected—the spiritual life that is more important than even our physical lives. He doesn’t just bring us back from death—He keeps us going. Some of us only know Him as the resurrection, when He brings us back from the brink, from the bottom, from the dead places we find ourselves in. But He is also the life, and He sustains us every day. Whatever we’re facing in our lives, He is facing it with us.
God is always up to something.
Even when it doesn’t look like He’s doing anything. When Jesus heard about Lazarus’s sickness, He said, “Lazarus’ sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory for this” (11:4). As we mature in our faith, we learn more and more to live our lives through the filter of God’s glory.
God’s timing is seldom ours.
Jesus waited two days after finding out Lazarus was sick before He went to visit him. He told His disciples that He waited in order to convince them that this was really a miracle. Our human nature wants to explain away the supernatural, but Jesus operates there—and Lazarus’ resurrection was a miracle only God could engineer. He let this miracle wait so that it could be confirmed as an act of God and not a natural occurrence.
Sometimes God lets our circumstances become so desperate that when He rescues us, we can only believe that it is God. It’s human nature to think we’ve done something, and if we aren’t careful, we become achievers and don’t make space for the glory of God.
God is doing more than we can see.
What the disciples saw in Lazarus was a sleeping man. What Jesus saw was a dead man in need of resurrection. He told them, “Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe.” (11:14). God’s up to something even if we don’t know it. God’s timing is not our timing, and He’s doing things that we don’t even see Him doing.
Don’t lose hope even in the dead places. Those are the places where Jesus loves to come through for us.
Watch Ps David’s full message here.