The Resurrection and the Life

Scripture Reading

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?

John 11:25-26

Resurrection, believe, life

In this Bible study called the resurrection and the life, take careful note of three prevailing words. These are resurrection, believe and life. Life in this case is referring to the Greek word zoe or spiritual life as opposed to bios or physical life. The notion of the resurrection of the dead was indeed a controversial topic back in biblical times for it was the religious group called the Sadducees who did not believe there was such an event after death. Little wonder, their name rhymes with sad-you-see for this would have been a belief without eternal hope! But Jesus, his disciples and the Jews often spoke about the resurrection of the dead.

Not only that, Jesus spoke of a resurrection resulting in one of two destinations as he described in this passage from John’s gospel account, “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.” [John 5:29] Jesus spoke and thus affirmed that the resurrection of the dead is something that is true and will occur with all people (Luke 14:14, 20:35,36, Matt. 22:30, 31, Mark 14:28). Even during his conversation with Martha in this week’s scripture reading, it was Martha who also confirmed belief in the resurrection, “Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” [John 11:24]

Resurrection of Jesus

Most importantly however was the resurrection that occurred with Jesus himself because with this he conquered sin and death (2 Tim. 1:10). The disciples gave evidence that they saw Jesus after his resurrection (Mark 16:14, Luke 24:34, John 21:14). The apostles confirmed that Jesus rose from the dead on several occasions (Matt. 28:6, 7, Acts 1:22, 4:33, Rom. 1:4, 6:5. 1 Pet. 3:21, John 2:22, Rom. 8:34. The angels of God affirmed that Jesus rose in the resurrection (Mark 16:6, Luke 24:6).The apostles also proclaimed that his resurrection was according to ancient scriptures, “Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.” [Acts 17:3 ]

But now is Christ risen from the dead…

1 Cor. 15:20a

Clearly, the foundation of Christianity is predicated on Jesus Christ rising from the dead for the contrary belief of this fact was argued by Paul when he wrote, “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” [1 Cor. 15:13-14] In other words, with no resurrection, there is no preaching, no faith, for it would have all amounted to nothing. Consider further how the apostle Paul pursues this false train of thought and its dismal consequences as Christians in this world.

“Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

1 Cor. 15:15-19

Christ is Risen!

We only need to catch a glimpse of Paul’s most encouraging words however after this to see that this logic and methodology is completely false to the Christian belief since he concludes with the bold proclamation, “But now is Christ risen from the dead…” [1 Cor. 15:20a] Therein lies the words to one of the most notable classic hymns written in 1739 by Charles Wesley, Christ the Lord is risen today, alleluia! This dear seekers of faith is the foundation of Christianity, Christ is risen from the grave and has now ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven as described in the gospel according to Mark, “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” [Mark 16:19]

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,

John 1:12

Further to this, as believers in Christ, we are now spiritually born again or born from above through him. This is not by our own will or self effort at all, rather it is through the power of God, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” [John 1:12-13] This is why the apostle Paul noted in his letter to the early church in Colossae when he described the position of believers as, “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” [Col. 2:12] To conclude this point, Paul continues to highlight the heavenly spiritual transformation that takes place in believers as he states, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” [Col. 3:1].

Whosoever Believeth

Let us close off this Bible study on the resurrection and the life by referencing the last part of this week’s scripture reading. As Jesus spoke to Martha about her brother Lazarus. Jesus stated that, “…whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” [John 11:26] Once again, this reinforces through repetition of the message that believing in him coincides with eternal life in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation does not come through what we may know academically, or what church we belong to, or if we are appointed to deacon or bishop within a church. Salvation is by grace and grace alone (Eph. 2:8-9) through faith in Christ, Will this be your decision today, to place your faith in the only redeemer that ever existed for mankind? This is Christianity, this is Jesus and he is calling whosoever will come to him by faith and in turn will offer them everlasting life in him (John 3:15-16).

Bible Study Questions

  1. Do you know why Jesus was having a conversation with Martha about her brother Lazarus? Hint John 11:14-15.
  2. Can you explain the difference in meaning between the two Greek words for life, zoe and bios?
  3. What were the two resurrections Jesus was describing in John 5:29?
  4. The disciples gave evidence that they saw Jesus after his resurrection, true of false?
  5. Fill in the blanks with this Bible verse, “But now is Christ _____________ from the ____________…” 1 Cor. 15:20a
  6. If we are risen with Christ, what are we told to seek? Hint Col. 3:1
  7. For a faith building exercise memorize John 3:16 this week!

Helpful References

You cannot copy content of this page