21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
(Lazarus Leon Bonnet 1857)
Thoughts: Martha believed. But her belief was incomplete, limited by what she could think was possible. In the midst of our crosses and death, it is hard to see the resurrection and hope. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. It is hard to see hope in a cross. When 1.2 million acres of Yellowstone burned in 1988 it was hard to imagine life coming back even greener. Yet the next year was the best year for wildflowers and new lodgepole pines ever, and animal and plant populations rebounded quickly. There is also hope for restoration after the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster. The hope is not found in that it has rebounded before, or in the manners of the people- but in God. God can be a refuge and strength- a very present source of help in trouble- so we do not need to fear the earthquake (Psalm 46). Jesus is our resurrection and our life- so we should put our trust in Him. He asks us- in the face of death (as He asked Martha): "Do you believe this?"
Prayer: May I believe you are the resurrection and the life, Lord.