Hundreds of years before His birth and during His life, Jesus was identified in many ways. The very statement “I AM” that Jesus uses to describe himself comes from Exodus 3:14, a promise from God and a prophecy which foreshadows the coming of Christ.

Who did Jesus say He was? In the Gospel of John, Jesus Himself speaks about who He is and why He came. In this series of four devotions, we will explore Jesus’ words about His identity and what it means for our lives.

On His arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.”Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her,”Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her,”I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (John 11:17-27)

Jesus performed many miracles during his time on earth, but the most significant one happened twice. Jesus resurrected His dearest friend Lazarus, from the dead, and then brought Himself back to life, giving the ultimate example of His divinity. Jesus said who He was and then followed through with it!

This specific narrative from John is profound, because it shows equally Jesus’ humanity and divinity. Jesus had many friends among His followers while he lived on earth. He never had a home of His own, so as He traveled, He stayed with friends. The disciples were considered part of Jesus’ close friends and inner circle. In the context of this passage, it is clear that Lazarus was also a close friend of Jesus. The shortest verse is Scripture is also one of the most notable in showing Jesus’ humanity. John 11:35 says, “Jesus wept.” He wept for His friend who had died, even though He would soon raise him back to life.

Before Jesus actually raises Lazarus back to life, He goes first to the home of Mary and Martha to comfort them. Martha’s response to Jesus as He arrives shows her boldness; it also shows her belief and faith in her Lord. Jesus doesn’t flinch; He knows the Truth of who He is and unlike in previous passages where Jesus states who He is, Martha knows also and believes.

Just a short time later, Jesus will be the one who has died. He will be the Resurrection, as He states in this passage, and will crush every doubter with the love that only God can provide, rich in grace and mercy!

For us as believers and followers of Christ, we can live every single day with the hope of His Resurrection that Easter morning, and our resurrection on the last day. Our comfort comes from God, who promised a Son who was who He said He was and is our LORD and Savior today! Because Jesus is the resurrection, we, too, will share in His resurrection from death.

Dear Father, thank you for sending your Son into our world to speak the Truth of who He is as our Savior. Thank you also for keeping your promise to show us your love through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our eternal life! Amen.

First published youthESource on June 4, 2012