As the people of God assemble today may they fix their eyes on Jesus who endured the cross, despised the shame and is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God as the Victorious Lamb. May they know that Jesus rose from the dead because there was more to come. “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb.12:1-2, NAU)
Kathy was my Dad’s church pianist from age 13. (As a baby, Melissa was put under the piano seat in her baby seat) We sang this one in a lively manner. But when we got to “You ask me how I know He lives,” we held “lives” for a long time and ended with a quick and hearty “He lives within my heart!” after which was an exuberant round (or two) of “Amen!” and “Glory!”.
He Lives (by A.H.Ackley; Melodies of Praise Hymnal p.86)
V.1—I serve a risen Saviour,
He’s in the world today;
I know that He is living,
Whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy,
I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him
He’s always near.
He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and He talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart.
V.2—In all the world around me
I see His loving care,
And tho my heart grows weary
I never will despair;
I know that He is leading
Thro’ all the stormy blast,
The day of His appearing
Will come at last.
V.3—Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian,
Lift up your voice and sing
To Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him,
The help of all who find,
None other is so loving,
So good and kind.
YouTube Link Listen to Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpJfT4_COzY
Martha spoke of resurrection in terms of an end-time doctrine. JESUS spoke of resurrection in terms of that which is a present fact applicable to present circumstances. JESUS was challenging Martha to see it and experience it BEFORE the Last Day. If JESUS cannot raise us from the death of failure (“death”: termination or extinction of something; cessation of all vital functions), from the death “of ceasing of function”, from the death of “not functioning because of fault or breakdown”, how can He raise us from the dust at the Last Day?
Here at Bethany, where JESUS is speaking to Martha, He is only two miles from Jerusalem where He healed one who had been diseased for 38 years; He healed one who had been blind since birth; now He raised one who had been dead for four days. Surely He can raise you up today. I like this definition of resurrection: “to stand up again.” Rejoice, it’s Resurrection Day! You can stand up again because Resurrection is a Person! (v.25)
23—“Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” (Jn.11:23-25, NKJV)
As the people of God assemble today may they fix their eyes on Jesus who endured the cross, despised the shame and is now set down at the right hand of the throne of God. May they know that Jesus rose from the dead because there was more to come. “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 FIXING OUR EYES ON JESUS, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb.12:1-2, NAU)
“JESUS did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil, He conquered through it.” (Quote found in my notes)
”… I died, but see, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of [absolute control and victory over] death and of Hades (the realm of the dead).(Rev.1:18, Amp)
As surely as the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead was a guarantee, just so, the resurrection that is “IN JESUS” is working in believers. The resurrection is “in” JESUS. If He is able to rise from the dead by that resurrection power that is in Him and if He is able to raise us up from the dead, wouldn’t it follow that He is able to raise up in us now those God-given promises and dreams that have become buried under the passing of time and the pressing of unrelenting circumstances? The religious experts promoting lifeless religion were “greatly disturbed because [the apostles] were teaching the people and proclaiming IN JESUS the resurrection from the dead.” (Acts 4:2, NASB) Those religious spirits were “thoroughly pained” because the truth and reality of the resurrection IN JESUS was the power of redemptive demonstration: “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4:33, KJV; Acts 4:13 “unlearned men” with resurrection power in them) Resurrection power points to the Person of JESUS, not to religious tenets and their officious practitioners.