Jesus had a way of showing up in the midst of a crisis and making what seemed to be the end just the beginning. Today, we celebrate this hope in the fact that Jesus rose from the dead. The subject of resurrection was nothing new to Jesus. Remember Lazarus? (see John 11). Jesus had been told Lazarus was sick, so he waited. A good friend… waiting… the ability to heal? This seemed very odd. When Jesus finally arrives, Lazarus has been dead four days. Four days of waiting is significant due to the popular Jewish teaching of the day that the soul would hover over and around the body for three days. In waiting four days, Jesus removes any doubt that Lazarus is dead. It seemed like the end for everyone, except Jesus. Upon arriving on the scene, Jesus tells Martha, the sister of Lazarus that her brother would live again. Martha, knowing her Old Testament, relays that she knows he will on the last day (John 11:24), but Jesus says something that is shocking and turns what seems to be an end into a beginning.
Jesus says in v.25:
I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.
Jesus then shows he has the power to make this statement by calling Lazarus from the tomb. All of Jesus’ identity hangs in the balance. If Lazarus doesn’t come out, then Jesus is a fake. But, if Lazarus does come out, they are standing in the presence of man who can rightfully claim to be the Messiah sent from God to take away the sins of the world. Lazarus’ end becomes a new beginning for him and legions of others who today realize not only what Jesus did for this man, but celebrate the fact that Jesus conquered death in rising from the grave.
The resurrection of Jesus changes the equation of the everything we know about the end of life. Due to the resurrection of Christ, what people think is the natural end is really only the beginning. If you have trusted in Christ, you now enter this new reality by faith in Christ. If you join with millions of others who place their hope that God will accept you on behalf of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection for your sins, you can have the hope of a new beginning too.
Jesus has a way of making what seems to be the end just the beginning. This dynamic has shown itself true in my life. When I came to the end of myself and trusted in Jesus alone to pay for my sins, I found the beginning of my relationship with God. This new beginning colors everything about who I am today. Simply put, I am a follower of Christ. This does not mean I am perfect (like Christ was/is), but it says I would like to be. The reason for this desire is that being perfect (trusting God completely as evidenced in how I act) means that I am enjoying and obeying God and that glorifies Him. When I fall short of this ideal, the grace of God views my imperfections through the obedience of Jesus. It is at those times that I, due to the resurrection of Jesus, enter into another beginning. God is good.