What an utterly hopeless situation when looked on in the natural. But Jesus is the life — He is the resurrection and he knew exactly what he was doing.
The miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead would be the culmination of his work and the deciding factor in the plans the Sadducees had for his death. It was time for all things to be fulfilled and it was being done on God’s timetable. He was in control.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).
The word resurrection is mentioned 41 times in the New Testament. To be raised from the dead is mentioned numerous times by Jesus and by the apostles who preached the crucified and resurrected Christ.
Paul said to the Philippians, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” (Philippians 3:10 KJV).
What was the power of his resurrection?
To know the power of his resurrection is to experience victory over death. Death is not the end for one who knows Christ as his personal Savior. The crux of the Christian faith is the knowledge of the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection was the most fundamental message preached by the early church.
Because the tomb did not hold him, Jesus restored hope to the world in the midst of despair. This was the message the disciples were instructed to preach. “And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead:” (Acts 10:42 KJV).
Why? “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43).
In Peter’s mighty message on the Day of Pentecost, he said, “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it (Acts 2:24 KJV).
It was not possible for the grave to hold Jesus — the Giver of Life could not be defeated by death. Humanity would have been doomed without any hope whatever if Jesus had not risen from the dead.
Christ’s resurrection is a pledge to every believer that if we are true believers in Him, because He has risen, we shall also arise.
Someone said to Bishop Talleyrand, one of the most astute men who ever lived: “The Christian religion — what is it? It would be easy to start a religion like that.”
“Oh, yes,” replied Talleyrand. “One would only have to get crucified and rise again the third day.”