The Resurrection

15th study in the series on the ‘Names of Christ’
adapted from PCC Prayer Meeting Exhortation on
9 Nov 2007

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: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this” (John 11:25)

Lazarus, the good friend was very sick. But the Lord did not seem very anxious when he heard the news. He tarried 2 days before starting out to see him in Bethany. By the time he got there, Lazarus had died and had already been buried 4 days.

Lazarus’ sisters were still very grieved. Mary was still weeping, and Martha appeared a little sore that the Lord did not come immediately. Did she not get someone to rush the message that Lazarus was sick to the Lord? Did he not get the message on time? “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died,” she said (Jn 11:21).

And she added: “But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee” (v. 22).

The Lord replied tersely: “Thy brother shall rise again” (v. 23).

Martha, apparently, did not fully understand what the Lord was saying or she was hoping that he would say something else. She said:

“I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (Jn 11:24)

It was in reply to Martha that our Lord said those famous words of our text:

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this.

Herein is the Lord’s 5th of the great ‘I am’ sayings in the Gospel of John. And herein are two names of the Lord Jesus, “The Resurrection” and “The Life.”

We say that they are the names of the Lord because when you say “I am the something”, then you are suggesting that you may be known as that something. If you say: “I am the president,” then you are suggesting that you may be called ‘Mr President.’

So when the Lord says ‘I am the Resurrection and the Life,’ he is saying that he may be identified as the Resurrection and the Life.

Now, these 2 names of the Lord are closely connected, but I think it may be helpful for us to study them separately even if it means some repetition.

Why does the Lord call himself ‘The Resurrection’? How should we respond to this, his self-designation?

1. Why is He the

Now, the word ‘Resurrection’ comes from the word ajnavstasi", from which we get the beautiful English name Anastasia. It means literally ‘to stand again’, or more precisely, ‘to rise from the dead.’

Now, we are all familiar with the doctrine of the resurrection of Christ and of the dead. After so many messages on the subject, I hope we are all very familiar with it.

The Lord Jesus is the Resurrection because it is in him alone that we may experience the resurrection. He alone can give us resurrection to life.

The wages of sin is death. In the day that Adam, our first father ate of the forbidden fruit, he fell into sin and death, and all mankind with him. We died spiritually and we are dying physically. Our souls are dead in trespasses and sin. Our body, which is composed of dust, suffers the ravages of death and will one day return to the dust.

Only one can rescue us from this death, even he who is the Resurrection. Yes, he is the resurrection from all deaths. When Martha said: “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (Jn 11:24), and the Lord responded with “I am the Resurrection and the Life”, it sounds like he is referring to the resurrection at the last day. But we know that he was not limiting himself to that act of resurrection at the last day, for shortly after that he raised Lazarus from the dead.

The point is: Christ is the Resurrection because all resurrections to life center on him.

The apostle John would have understood that. It was he who also recorded the Lord’s teaching in chapter 5 where he refers to a spiritual as well as a physical resurrection:

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.…

Can you see how this is a reference to spiritual life? Everlasting life is eternal life. Eternal life is in the definition of our Lord a life of knowing and enjoying God (Jn 17:3). Such as are spiritually dead cannot enjoy such a life. Christ alone can raise us from the dead and give us such a life—even eternal life.

But look now at verse 28—

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

What is our Lord referring to here? No doubt, he is referring to the bodily resurrection that we will experience at the last day.

Christ alone can raise us from the dead. He can raise us from the dead because he lived and died for our sin. Moreover, he has been appointed to sound the call for the resurrection. He shall call and all men shall respond. Those who are dead in unbelief will be raised to everlasting condemnation whereas those who are dead in Christ will be raised unto life of the fullness of God’s blessing.

Can you see how Christ is the Resurrection? He is the reason and the captain of our resurrection—both spiritual and physical.

In the book of Revelation, chapter 20, the apostle John will speak about these two resurrections as the first and the second resurrections.

Christ is the Resurrection. He is our Resurrection. In him we who are dead and dying may live and live again. All who would live must live through him.

What should we do with this truth?

2. How should we

a. First of all, if Christ is the Resurrection and our resurrection let us seek to live by faith and not by sight; and let us seek to live not by our own strength but by the resurrection power of Christ. This is what the apostle Paul means in Philippians 3:8-11, where he says—

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Now, how do we translate that into easy to understand and easy to implement applications?

Well, we must translate that to a humble and prayerful life in which Christ is central. Christ must be our purpose. He has given us meaning in life, shall we not make it the aim of our life to bring glory to his name in all that we do.

If Christ has made us alive by the power of his Spirit, shall we not learn to look to him for strength to serve him? In other words, if we find ourselves overwhelmed by our own weaknesses, by the cares of the world, or by discouragement, let us turn to the Lord to find strength in him. Let us recognise that because he is our resurrection, we need not do anything in our own strength nor do we need to do anything to prove ourselves.

We need but to cast ourselves upon the Lord to serve him faithfully and gratefully. He does not expect us to try to prove our worth, nor does he leave us to fend for ourselves. Let us serve him faithfully, with full dependence upon him to give us grace to do what he appoints for us.

b. Secondly if Christ is the Resurrection and our resurrection, let us respond in faith and hope with respect to our physical life. Lazarus had died. It is right that believers should mourn at the passing away of a loved one. I do not think we should fault Mary and Martha for weeping. Our Lord wept with them.

But we must be careful not to face death with despair. In recent days we have been much encouraged by the testimony of our brother pastor Thomas Chong who is effectively waiting for his time to be up. I don’t know. It is entirely possible that some of us will go before him. But he has been served notice from the Lord.

How is he facing death? We thank God that he is facing it with courage, no doubt, in the knowledge of the resurrection. Courage is not fearlessness. It is going ahead in the strength of the Lord despite the fear.

Beloved brethren and children, we must all die. But thank God that Christ is our resurrection. One day our bodies will be restored minus all the diseases, pains, lusts, aches and tiredness. Thank God that one day we shall be able to enjoy fellowship with God and with one another without the limitation of time and space and the limitations and flaws of our body and soul.

c. Thirdly, if Christ is the Resurrection and our resurrection, let us be mindful to signify that we are a people of the resurrection. How to signify that we are a people of the resurrection? One of the ways is by conducting ourselves in the world in a way that reflects our status of being a people who are alive to the laws of God. Another important way is simply by keeping the Sabbath holy!

In Exodus 31, the Lord said to Moses:

“Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you” (Ex 31:13).

What does this mean? It does not mean that the Sabbath is only for God’s people. It means that God’s people must distinguish themselves from the world by keeping the Sabbath.

Today, the Sabbath has been moved from the 7th day to the 1st day because Christ rose from the dead. This is the day that the Lord has made, in it we shall rejoice. When the church observes the Sabbath on the 1st day of the week, we are not only keeping the 4th commandment but also testifying to the world that we serve a living Saviour. We are telling the world that we are dead by nature, but Christ is the Resurrection and he has given us life.


Beloved brethren and children, Christ is the Resurrection. Is he your resurrection?

If he is, are you living a Christian life that manifests the power of the resurrection?

Do you exhibit faith and hope in regards to your physical life?

Are you keeping the Lord’s Day joyfully in testimony that you are gratefully serving a living Saviour who is the Resurrection? Amen.  —JJ Lim

PS. As we look forward to the Lord’s Supper next Sabbath, let us grieve that it was our sin that brought our Lord to the Cross; but let us also thank God and come with grateful hearts for our Lord “was raised again for our justification” (Rom 4:25). For that reason He is our Resurrection. He raised us from spiritual death, and he will raise us from bodily death.