Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, - John 11:25
The “I Am” statement in John 11:25, was settled when Jesus defeated death on the cross and rose on the third day. Throughout his ministry, in order to fulfill the prophecy, Jesus said he must die, but he made it clear that no one could take his life, that it was his decision to give his life (John 10:17-18).
The statement was conditional for those who heard it. One must be willing to die to one’s own selfish desires, and choose to live as Jesus had been teaching them.
The Messiah’s sacrificial death and resurrection was prophesied throughout the Old Testament. For example:
· David’s words in Psalm 22 give much detail of what happened during and after the actual crucifixion of Christ.
· In Ezekiel’s vision, the Lord showed him the state of the people of God (dry bones/dead) because they had turned away from Him. God then shows Ezekiel what would happen if God’s people returned to Him (the bones were given life). Ezekiel 37:1-14.
Today, we as believers are immersed in water to symbolize the death of the old self and the birth of a new life.
In the Old Testament through the writings of the prophets, the Nation of Israel knew of God’s promise to send the Messiah. This promise of a Savior was taught to generation after generation who lived with hope in anticipation of the coming Messiah.
Jesus was “dropped” right into the middle of those living in accordance with the Old Testament teachings, and he came with a whole new way to live. Jesus’ ministry caused division among the Jews. There were:
· Those who sat under his teachings, believed he was the Messiah, and therefore chose to follow Him. Some followed Jesus for political reasons and others for spiritual reasons.
· Those who were offended when Jesus spoke this “I Am” statement - In their teachings, “I Am” was the name God had given himself. Each time God showed himself to the Israelites it was never face to face, because He was holy and no man could look upon him and live. The Jews who did not believe Jesus was the Messiah, were comparing the holiness of the God of the Law, who communicated with his people through burning bushes, pillars of fire, visions, etc., to Jesus whose actions were deliberately opposite.
· Those who did not believe in the resurrection; therefore, arguments between the Sadducees (who did not believe) and the Pharisees (who did believe) caused dissension among the leadership of the day. (Acts 23:6-8)