SCRIPTURE: Genesis 50
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” (John 11:25-26) Do I believe this? Do I believe the promise of God? Am I prepared to live and to die with confidence that the Lord will keep His promise? This is the faith that is expressed in Jacob’s funeral in the land, and also in Joseph’s insistence that he be buried in the promised land.
Both of them were hanging on to the promise of God. God had promised them that they and their children would inherit the land. But so far they hadn’t. In fact, at this point they were far away from the land. And for the people of Israel, it would get even worse. But Moses writes this to remind the Israelites (now after the 400 year exile in Egypt, now on the way to the promised land), that their forefathers did not give up hope, that both Jacob and Joseph remained confident in God’s promise.
Joseph’s words, ‘when God comes to help you’ shows this confidence. Martha seems to show this too, when she says to Jesus, he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day (John 11:24). But Jesus clarifies her faith by focusing it on Himself. He is the resurrection, He is God Himself who has come to help. This is not vague future hope, the promise has become reality in Jesus!
To live in a faith relationship with Jesus is to be alive, fully alive, forever alive. Not even death can take that away. We have more than just a promise (which was enough to inspire Jacob and Joseph with confidence), we have the reality in Jesus. Even more than Jacob and Joseph, we can look sickness, suffering and death straight in the eye and say, ‘I am alive in Jesus, and you can’t take that away from me!’
The question is asked of me, that was asked of Martha. Do I believe this? Do I act like it? Do I face death (like Jacob and Joseph), clinging to the promise and assurance that He will lead me from this life to the next? Do I grieve with hope, or without it?
Lord, I realize that I do not live as if I am fully alive, now and forever. I still fear death, and wonder about where You are in my suffering. I want to trust Your promise!