This is such a familiar verse, used especially during Easter. It is one of many “I am” statements in scripture describing who God is, and since Jesus is fully God, it refers to who he is. I am who I am; I am the good shepherd; I am the bread of life, I am the way and the truth and the life, and many more. I find it interesting that Jesus combines “resurrection and life” as he addresses Martha concerning Lazarus’ death. There must be a deep abiding relationship.
Up to this time in history, life after death was something one hoped for some day, possibly in eternity. Martha believed Jesus was the Christ (Anointed One/Chosen One), but she could not have had a concept of what Jesus was saying. He used this opportunity to reveal his power over death and declare that humankind’s last enemy would be defeated. He raised Lazarus. They were amazed!
The finished work
But this was only a foretaste of what was to soon happen outside Jerusalem. There, through his death, burial and resurrection, he actually finished the work that he had come to perform. When that stone was rolled away from the garden tomb, Jesus brought new life out of the grave for himself. And he is able to offer those who believe and receive him new life in him. Death can no longer have any power over the believer. No resurrection, no life!
Jesus concluded his profound words to Martha. “He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? Do you?