I am the resurrection, and the life - Thou sayest that thy brother shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day; but by whom shall he arise if not by Me, who am the author of the resurrection, and the source of life? And is it not as easy for me to raise him now as to raise him then? Thus our blessed Lord raises her hope, animates her faith, and teaches her that he was not a mere man, but the essential principle and author of existence.
Though he were dead - Every man who has believed or shall believe in me, though his believing shall not prevent him from dying a natural death, yet his body shall be re-animated, and he shall live with me in an eternal glory. And every one who is now dead, dead to God, dead in trespasses and sins, if he believe in me, trust on me as his sole Savior, he shall live, shall be quickened by my Spirit, and live a life of faith, working by love.
I am the resurrection - I am the author or the cause of the resurrection. It so depends on my power and will, that it may be said that I am the resurrection itself. This is a most expressive way of saying that the whole doctrine of the resurrection came from him, and the whole power to effect it was his. In a similar manner he is said to be made of God unto us “wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,” 1 Corinthians 1:30.
And the life - John 1:4. As the resurrection of all depends on him, he intimated that it was not indispensable that it should be deferred to the last day. He had power to do it now as well as then.
Though he were dead - Faith does not save from temporal death; but although the believer, as others, will die a temporal death, yet he will hereafter have life. Even if he dies, he shall hereafter live.
Shall he live - Shall be restored to life in the resurrection.
The priests, in putting Christ to death, had made themselves the tools of Satan. Now they were entirely in his power. They were entangled in a snare from which they saw no escape but in continuing their warfare against Christ. When they heard the report of His resurrection, they feared the wrath of the people. They felt that their own lives were in danger. The only hope for them was to prove Christ an impostor by denying that He had risen. They bribed the soldiers, and secured Pilate's silence. They spread their lying reports far and near. But there were witnesses whom they could not silence. Many had heard of the soldiers’ testimony to Christ's resurrection. And certain of the dead who came forth with Christ appeared to many, and declared that He had risen. Reports were brought to the priests of persons who had seen these risen ones, and heard their testimony. The priests and rulers were in continual dread, lest in walking the streets, or within the privacy of their own homes, they should come face to face with Christ. They felt that there was no safety for them. Bolts and bars were but poor protection against the Son of God. By day and by night that awful scene in the judgment hall, when they had cried, “His blood be on us, and on our children,” was before them. Matthew 27:25. Nevermore would the memory of that scene fade from their minds. Nevermore would peaceful sleep come to their pillows. DA 785.1
When the voice of the mighty angel was heard at Christ's tomb, saying, Thy Father calls Thee, the Saviour came forth from the grave by the life that was in Himself. Now was proved the truth of His words, “I lay down My life, that I might take it again.... I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” Now was fulfilled the prophecy He had spoken to the priests and rulers, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” John 10:17, 18; 2:19. DA 785.2
Over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, Christ had proclaimed in triumph, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” These words could be spoken only by the Deity. All created beings live by the will and power of God. They are dependent recipients of the life of God. From the highest seraph to the humblest animate being, all are replenished from the Source of life. Only He who is one with God could say, I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again. In His divinity, Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death. DA 785.3
Christ arose from the dead as the first fruits of those that slept. He was the antitype of the wave sheaf, and His resurrection took place on the very day when the wave sheaf was to be presented before the Lord. For more than a thousand years this symbolic ceremony had been performed. From the harvest fields the first heads of ripened grain were gathered, and when the people went up to Jerusalem to the Passover, the sheaf of first fruits was waved as a thank offering before the Lord. Not until this was presented could the sickle be put to the grain, and it be gathered into sheaves. The sheaf dedicated to God represented the harvest. So Christ the first fruits represented the great spiritual harvest to be gathered for the kingdom of God. His resurrection is the type and pledge of the resurrection of all the righteous dead. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” 1 Thessalonians 4:14. DA 785.4Read in context »
True missionary work is that in which the Saviour's work is best represented, His methods most closely copied, His glory best promoted. Missionary work that falls short of this standard is recorded in heaven as defective. It is weighed in the balances of the sanctuary and found wanting. 6T 230.1
Physicians should seek to direct the minds of their patients to Christ, the Physician of soul and body. That which physicians can only attempt to do, Christ accomplishes. The human agent strives to prolong life. Christ is life itself. He who passed through death to destroy him that had the power of death is the Source of all vitality. There is balm in Gilead, and a Physician there. Christ endured an agonizing death under the most humiliating circumstances that we might have life. He gave up His precious life that He might vanquish death. But He rose from the tomb, and the myriads of angels who came to behold Him take up the life He had laid down heard His words of triumphant joy as He stood above Joseph's rent sepulcher proclaiming: “I am the resurrection, and the life.” 6T 230.2
The question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” has been answered. By bearing the penalty of sin, by going down into the grave, Christ has brightened the tomb for all who die in faith. God in human form has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. In dying, Christ secured eternal life for all who believe in Him. In dying, He condemned the originator of sin and disloyalty to suffer the penalty of sin—eternal death. 6T 230.3Read in context »
Christ claims all those as His who have believed in His name. The vitalizing power of the Spirit of Christ dwelling in the mortal body binds every believing soul to Jesus Christ. Those who believe in Jesus are sacred to His heart; for their life is hid with Christ in God. The command will come from the Life-giver, “Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead” (Isaiah 26:19). 2SM 271.1
The life-giver will call up His purchased possession in the first resurrection, and until that triumphant hour, when the last trump shall sound and the vast army shall come forth to eternal victory, every sleeping saint will be kept in safety and will be guarded as a precious jewel, who is known to God by name. By the power of the Saviour that dwelt in them while living and because they were partakers of the divine nature, they are brought forth from the dead. 2SM 271.2
Christ claimed to be the Only Begotten of the Father, but men encased in unbelief, barricaded with prejudice, denied the Holy and the Just One. He was charged with blasphemy, and was condemned to a cruel death, but He burst the fetters of the tomb, and rose from the dead triumphant, and over the rent sepulcher of Joseph He declared, “I am the resurrection, and the life” (John 11:25). All power in heaven and in earth was vested in Him, and the righteous will also come forth from the tomb free in Jesus. They shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead. “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father” (Matthew 13:43). 2SM 271.3Read in context »