We believe Jesus Christ came here and died. Most everybody will tell you that Jesus Christ came to the earth...that he was born in Bethlehem of Judea...that he came, was crucified and died. Some even admit he resurrected. But there is much more to the fact that Jesus Christ resurrected and got up from the grave. Jesus Christ’s resurrection gives us a hope of a resurrection. So, if we're in our life today just because we have a job, have children or family…if all of our life is surrounded around that and not necessarily what the end is going to be for us, then we're missing the boat. We don't need to live our life as a draggy thing worried about dying but we do need to live our life considering the end of our life and considering what is going to happen to us once it's all said and done. This natural life that we live, Job said it like this, “Man that is born of a woman is a few days and full of trouble”. We see that everywhere. Everyone who may be reading this message is living in some kind of trouble but there is victory through Jesus Christ. Our natural life that we live is not what a resurrection is all about. It is not about this natural life. It is about a spiritual life with Jesus Christ.
WHAT IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION? I want to discuss what actually is a resurrection and why it is important to us. And, why the first resurrection has already taken place and how that is important to us. I'm going to start out in in the book of St. John and this is in the 11: 1 Now a certain man was sick named Lazarus of Bethany the town of Mary and his sister Martha…the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus was sick. Lazarus was a friend of Jesus, and Jesus loved Lazarus. Lazarus had gotten sick and was about to die, and he did eventually die. The word had come to Jesus that Lazarus had died, and he told his disciples, John 11:11 “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, hat I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. John 11:4, When Jesus heard that he said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby”. You see in your life today, I am sure that there are things that are going on, perhaps sickness, perhaps financial issues that you may be having. A lot of these things come into our life to give God glory out of the things that we do.
For example, the man that was born blind...Jesus came to heal the man, and they asked the lawyer, “Who did wrong, this man's mother or his father? Jesus said, “Neither but that my father would be glorified. See, sometimes there's things that go on in our life that gives God glory when we're delivered from those things. So that's what life really is all about. The life that we live here now is just a short time. James talked about it. He said, “Life is just a vapor that appears for a little time and then it vanishes away. Well, this life that we live in today is going to dissipate. It's going to leave. We can't live forever in this state. God never intended for man to live forever in the state that we are in right now. God's intentions was for us to have an eternal life of glory…a life like God has now…one that doesn't fade away. This life that we are in today, it fades away.
Lazarus had died and Jesus was going to glorify the Father. Martha, of course, came to Jesus. In John 11:20, Martha as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming went and met him but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, “21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. Now, they had a lot of faith in Jesus Christ. They believed that he could heal. They believed that he could cause him not to die. Not only that, they believed that if he asked the Father to bring him back, that he would. They had a lot of faith in Jesus but they didn't have the understanding that he was about to give them...what this was all about it and even why Lazarus had to die.
John 11:21, 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. What an awesome thought to know that the man they had so much faith in would say, “Thy brother shall rise again. That had to be encouraging to them. But there is something I want to bring to your attention in the next verse. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Now the question I have to you is…if Martha knew that there was going to be a resurrection, who told her. Somebody had to have been telling her…preaching that there was going to be a resurrection or she wouldn't have even known that. Notice what was said… 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. So, somebody evidently had been telling that there was going to be a resurrection.
THE FIRST RESURRECTION IN THE BIBLE Well, we know that Jesus Christ had talked about the resurrection even in his teaching when he had talked to the disciples and all the different people that were following him there. He had talked about the resurrection and how all that God had given him, he would raise it up at the last day but there was some understanding that Martha needed to know about this day. In the 25th verse, Jesus saith unto her, 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: Jesus was showing her that the resurrection is all about Jesus Christ. If you intend on being in the last resurrection, and you are going to be there one way or the other…whether it is unto life or unto death. But if you intend on having everlasting life, you need to understand what the resurrection is. You need to understand that it comes through Jesus Christ. The resurrection comes through Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection. I am the resurrection and the life. 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. “Believest thou this? She said, I do. She told him, “Yes, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. So, she believed in Jesus Christ. She had faith in him, and she knew if he asked the Father that God would do it.
Well, it goes on to show us that she was distraught about her brother passing and of course even 35...the shortest verse in the Bible) Jesus wept. 9 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus said, “Take me to where he is at and when he got there, he saw the compassion they all had for Lazarus and how they were mourning in their heart. The Bible said Jesus wept. So, Jesus has a heart to comfort people. But Jesus went on to tell them, “Where is he?” And when he got there the Bible said that Jesus said, “Arise Lazarus.” Jesus Christ spoke that day for Lazarus to come out of the tomb. I believe that if he had not called him by his name, everybody in the ground would have come out of the grave. In the 38th verse, Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. 40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
That is why this all happened. So that God would be given glory through the things that he did. 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. That is what the Lord can do for you today. He can lose you and he can set you free. He can give you everlasting joy.
Consider what we say and the Lord will give you understanding in all things.