As I prepared this morning for a message to give at a memorial service tomorrow, I was struck by these words of Jesus to Martha, about her dead brother Lazarus: “Your brother will rise again” (John 11:23).
What caught my attention was that Jesus called Lazarus, “your brother.” Not “he,” or even “Lazarus,” but “your brother.” By speaking in that way, Jesus was acknowledging the special and deep love Martha must have had for Lazarus, just because he was her brother. He was sensitive to the grief and pain she felt in losing him, and simply by calling him “your brother”, Jesus was extending his compassion to Martha.
Jesus is a compassionate and merciful Savior. He knows the grief we experience in losing a loved one, and he is able to comfort us in our loss.
More than that, as John 11 also shows, he is able to bring the promise and hope of resurrection to us in this world of death and sorrow. He said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (vs. 25, 26).
Martha believed Jesus was the resurrection and the life. Do you?