Jesus said to her, “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.” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

The story begins to unfold when the two sisters of Lazarus send word to Jesus that Lazarus is ill. Jesus immediately knew that the illness would not lead to permanent physical death, but that he would be glorified through it. So, he and his disciples wait two days before they leave for Bethany. Upon leaving Jesus said to his disciples, Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. (John 11:15 ESV) Jesus purposefully waited for Lazarus to die so that he could raise him from the dead. His motive was so that his disciples would believe him that God sent him; that he was the Son of God and so the Father and the Son would be glorified (John 11:4, 15, 42).

It was after Jesus had raised the son of the widow of Nain that John the Baptist sent his disciples to inquire whether Jesus was the long awaited Messiah. Jesus answered them, Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. (Matthew11:4-5 ESV) Once again Jesus refers to his ability to raise the dead as proof that he was sent from God. The Apostle Paul also said that Jesus was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4).

Jesus not only had, and still has, the power to raise a dead person to life; he was given the power to raise a dead spirit to life. Numerous times during his ministry Jesus spoke of having life in himself. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. (John 5:26 ESV) He claimed to be the bread of life and all who believed in him would have life (John 6:48, 51). Jesus said, As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. (John 6:57 ESV) He also said that he gives eternal life to his sheep (John 10:27-28) and he prayed to the Father, Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (John 17:1-3 ESV)

Peter wrote, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3 ESV) It was indeed the blood of Christ that was shed for the forgiveness of our sins, but it was the resurrection of Christ that sealed the deal for our salvation. Speaking of Abraham Paul wrote, But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:23-25 ESV)

Matthew records what happened when Jesus yielded his spirit on the cross. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. (Matthew 27:51-53 ESV)

Paul wrote, If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11 ESV) Because Jesus is the resurrection and the life, when he returns to earth the second time he will give the command and the dead in Christ will be resurrected and those who are alive will rise with them to meet the Lord in the air and forever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

That’s why we praise him!