Mary and Martha were worried. Their brother Lazarus was sick. When the doctors couldn’t help him, they sent word to the One who they believed could help. “Lord, the one you love is sick” is the message Jesus received. The sisters probably expected Jesus to rush back and heal their brother—but He didn’t. In fact, He stayed where He was for two more days before traveling to Bethany.
When He finally did arrive, Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. When Mary heard that Jesus was coming, she didn’t go out to meet Him. Maybe she was disappointed and felt He had failed her; maybe she wanted to be alone in her grief. But Martha ran ahead to meet Jesus. In sorrow and disappointment she said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
I know how Mary and Martha felt. I also had a brother who was sick and the doctors couldn’t help him, either. And so I sent word to Jesus. For five months I asked Him to come and heal Dan. But it seemed as though He was delaying. When my brother wasn’t healed and finally died, at times I felt like the sisters: “If You had been here….”
Do You Believe This?
But here’s what Jesus said to Martha—and to me: “ ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?’ ”
I do! I believe this with all my heart. Because Jesus is the resurrection and the life, I know that Dan’s death is only temporary. He will be awakened at the second coming of Jesus—and will never again die, but will spend eternity with our family in Heaven! If those we love die and wait in the grave for Jesus’ ultimate healing day, He’s promised that they will live again.
Here’s how The Message Bible describes that day: “But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again” (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52).
Death is not the end for those who believe in Jesus’ resurrection, because His resurrection guarantees our resurrection. The best news anyone could ever give you about Jesus is this: “He’s alive!” These two words take care of every heartache, every hopeless feeling you have. They are stronger than your grief. They are your answer. They are your healing. They are your hope. And they are the true meaning of Easter.
—Written by Nancy Canwell