Jesus Gave Thanks :: to Show us He is Life

It is thanksgiving season and there are many reasons for us to be thankful to God for, but have you ever wondered what Jesus was thankful for. John 11 records the account of Jesus miraculously resurrecting his friend, Lazarus, back from the dead. But before Jesus performed this miracle, the Bible records, that Jesus was glad that he was not in the city where Lazarus was, when he was alive, so that people may believe in him (John 11:15) and he gave thanks (John 11:41-42). Upon seeing what Jesus did through the miracle of resurrection, many of those who had gathered around the tomb of Lazarus believed (John 11:45).

Points to ponder:
Jesus gave thanks to God for the miracle of resurrection, not only as an event (where Lazarus is raised) (John 11:44), but also in his person (so that people may see and believe that Jesus is indeed who he claimed to be – the resurrection and the life) (John 11:15,25,42,45). Today Jesus, our friend, may not seem to be where we want him to be. In the midst of our troubles that seem to take the life out of us, we may feel that we have no hope. Jesus is glad that he is not where we want him to be, so that we may believe, when we see (with our spiritual eyes), that he is indeed the resurrection and the life and those who believe in him, even though they are dead, yet they shall life. Have you seen life? Have you seen Jesus Christ – our resurrection and our life? Have you believed in him? We can give thanks this thanksgiving season, for Jesus who shows us that He is Life!

John 11: 15,25-26,41-45 (KJV)
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him

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?

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

Psalm 1 :: By rivers of water, fruitful and unwithering

The Bible teaches us that “The blessed man is like a tree planted by the rivers of water, who brings forth his fruit in his season, and his leaves does not wither and in whatsoever he does, he prospers.” (Psalm 1:3).

A tree that is planted by the rivers of water implies that the tree has perpetually proximity to water, which is a primary source of its life. Jesus said, I am the resurrection and THE LIFE (John 11:25) and his Holy Spirit is the living water that flows out of those who have believed and received Jesus Christ (John 4:13-14). A blessed man, is one who is perpetually in proximity to Jesus Christ, the author and personification of life.

Not only is he watered by the Holy Spirit of God, the blessed man is also fruitful in his mission of reconciling God to man. Just as a mango tree will bear only mango fruit and not any other kind of fruit, the fruit of a believing blessed person and can only be another believer who will also be blessed. Unlike the fig tree that was worthless to the owner of the vineyard, but fit only to be cut down for being fruitless (Luke 13:6-9), the man who is fruitful brings joy to the owner of the vineyard, producing many others who believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; much fruit in thirty, sixty and hundredfold.

Additionally, just as leaves are a source of medicine that brings healing (Revelation 22:12; Ezekiel 47:12), the blessed man is unwithering in his mission of bringing healing to the nations; healing from the sickness of sin and the power of death, by pointing others to Jesus Christ, the master physician and healer of all mankind.

Psalm 1:3 (KJV)
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The true meaning of the Resurrection

What is the resurrection? On Easter Sunday, all of Christendom celebrates the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, commemorating his victory over sin and the power of the devil, which is death (Hebrews 2:14), but let us be careful not to miss out on the true meaning of Resurrection.

While Easter to many in the faith may mean one or more of the following:
The day that the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead (and/or)
The day that the tomb in which Jesus was laid after his death became empty (and/or)
The day that the sting and bondage of the grave was loosened (and/or)
The day when the devil was destroyed and the power of death vanquished …
let us be careful to not miss out on the true meaning of Resurrection.

When Jesus told Martha that Lazarus, her dead brother, shall rise again; Martha responds by saying, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day”, but Jesus asserts to her that “He indeed is the resurrection, and the life”.
Resurrection is more than just an event. It is a person. It is Jesus Christ.
So the correct question to ask is not “What is the Resurrection?” but “Who is the Resurrection?”

Points to ponder: 
Jesus Christ said, “I AM the Resurrection and the Life, if anyone believes in me, though he shall die, yet he shall live and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” and then questioned, “Do you believe this?” Do you?

John 11:21-27 (KJV)
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
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?
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

Jesus in the NT :: 2nd Timothy

The book of 2nd Timothy gives us a glimpse of who Jesus is in the  New Testament (N.T).

The very first verse states that in Jesus is the PROMISE of life 2 Timothy 1:1).  In him, is the PROMISE of life, because in him is the PROVISION of life since Jesus abolished death (2 Timothy 1:10). In other words, Jesus is the Killer of the DEATH KILLER, our Savior. He did so by rising from the dead, by the command of God, stripping death of all its power and rendering it futile. But man is appointed to die once and then enter into judgment (Hebrews 9:27), but who will be the judge. 2 Timothy 4:1 states that Jesus is the judge of the living and the dead and 2 Timothy 4:8 establishes the fact that Jesus is the RIGHTEOUS judge.

In 2 Timothy, Jesus is the One in whom is the PROMISE of life, because He is the PROVISION Of life, the DEATH KILLER / Savior and the RIGHTEOUS Judge.

Points to ponder:
2 Timothy is the book that affirms that ALL SCRIPTURE is God breathed / inspired of God’s (2 Timothy 3:16). Question: Has the inspiration of God, inspired you and me?

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life, and he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:24-25). Have you believed to live and never die?

2 Timothy 1:1 (KJV)
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

2 Timothy 1:10 (KJV)
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

2 Timothy 4:1 (KJV)
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

2 Timothy 4:8 (KJV)
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Afterlife :: World of the living or world of the dead

While visiting the special exhibition of the “Book of the Dead” in the British Museum, we came to learn that according to an ancient Egyptian belief, on the day a person dies (the day of burial), the dead person moved from the world of the living to the world of the dead. Other common world beliefs  and religions ascribe to something similar as well.

However, unlike the ancient or current belief that a person moves from the world of the living to the world of the dead, when they die, the Christian Faith prescribes an antithesis. In fact, when a person who believes in Jesus Christ dies, they don’t move from the world of the living into the world of the dead, but quite the contrary; they move from the world of the dead (in sin) to the world of the living (for all who are in Christ shall live, even if they were dead (physically)).

Do you belief in Jesus Christ, the author of Life, in both this world and the world to come?

Romans 3:23 (KJV)
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:22-23 (KJV)
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

John 11:25-26 (KJV)
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

Rebuked the …

In the account in which Jesus stills the sea as recorded in the gospel according to Jesus’ disciple, Mark, the scripture tells us that when Jesus was awakened and questioned, as to whether he cared not that his disciples would perish, Jesus rebuked the wind and calmed the stormy sea (Mark 4:39). Rightfully so, it was not the wind that needed rebuke, but it was the mind of those who fretted without faith (Mark 4:40) while they had the one who created the sea (Psalm 95:5), right there with them. Furthermore, the disciples in their lack of faith, interestingly and ironically questioned Jesus on the very purpose, that He came. Jesus who is the Life itself was questioned at to whether he did not care if those with him lost theirs (perished). He came to give life and to give it more abundantly (John 10:10) and all who believe in Him, though they die (perish) shall live (John 11:25), for God not only cared, but He loved the world so much, that He sent His only begotten Son (Jesus) and whoever believes in Him (Jesus) shall NOT PERISH but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

Rightfully so, Jesus should have rebuked the mind of the disciples, but he spared them of that and rebuked the wind. It was the SPIRITUAL storm of blown faith and doubt INSIDE and not the PHYSICAL storm of wind and waves OUTSIDE that needed rebuke.  Are you and I questioning God, due to the lack of our faith, that deserves rebuke? God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind (one that does not deserve rebuke).

John 11:25 (KJV)
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:

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.