Posted by jsheffield at 10:56 AM on Mar 29, 2021

The past year does not stand out for most of us as a time of triumph and prosperity. It’s more so remembered as a season of tension, stress, and uncertainty. In many ways it was a year marked by gloom and sadness. While some seasons of life are experienced on the mountain tops, this past season was one we experienced in the valley. However, for those who follow Jesus, there is always life at the end of the tunnel. Resurrection always follows tribulation. Always.

In John 11 we see two sisters, Mary and Martha, devastated by the loss of their brother, Lazarus. When Jesus hears the news, He decides immediate action isn’t required. He remained where He was for another two days while Mary and Martha continued to mourn. Why? Because He knows resurrection is coming. He knows that death is not the end of the story. Therefore, He does not panic or grow anxious. His response reminds us that when we allow the truth of eternal life to take root in our soul we become a people who always see the hope beyond the circumstances. Even in the midst of tragedy there is resurrection that awaits.

Before Jesus could even make it to the tomb Martha ran to meet Him. With confusion and respect she says, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” She wants to believe that Jesus cares. Her emotion leads her to blame Him but truth leads her to trust Him. In the same sentence she accuses but also confesses. Hardship in the Christian life often involves these tensions. It can be difficult to trust the goodness of God in the midst of turmoil. Jesus knows this. He’s fully aware that Martha is frustrated with His timing. He knows that deep down she wants to lash out because of the situation. Which is why Jesus responds the way He does.

“I am the resurrection and the life.” This statement wasn’t directed toward a crowd of faces. It wasn’t preached in a sermon. It was spoken specifically to a woman who was heartbroken. Jesus is reminding her that He is the very source of life. He is the One who brings the dead to life. Knowing Jesus means that our hope transcends even the darkest moments because He is not limited or restricted by anything, even death.

As Easter approaches let's remember that resurrection is not simply a hopeful concept, it is a person. Experiencing resurrection happens when we come into relationship with Jesus. Martha had trouble seeing past the death of her brother but Jesus redirected her eyes to the place hope is found—Himself. Easter points us to the source of life. It brings us face to face with the Person of resurrection—Jesus Christ. There is always resurrection on the other side of tribulation. Always