A wonderful promise of God was seen literally being performed in John 11 v 43 when the Lord Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead' Lazarus come forth' and out he came.
There the Master explains beforehand the promises implication by communing with His Father openly before the people who had gathered to mourn.
He wanted the those people to come into the full relationship with God that they were intended to enjoy with Him.
Many of those Jews were wanting to know the truth that would set them free
from the terror of death that bound the human race.
Lazarus was dead and buried when the Lord Jesus came on to the scene, the family were grieving because the thought abounded that if He had been there earlier Lazarus could have been healed.
It never entered their head that the same Lord Jesus who healed the sick could raise the dead as well.
Martha was deeply hurt by the later arrival of the Lord Jesus to the home and she begins to vent her feelings to Him in v 20.
The promise is in v 23 'thy brother will rise again' and Martha was sharp on 'I know v 24 here is the religious thought of the day coming through'
It is the second time 'I know' the first time it reveals faith that trusts God to do what He will the second time is to state what she believed.
These 'I know' are heard every day by ministers of the Gospel as folk speak their mind to cover their feelings.
Those 'I know' point to our perception of things, to the understanding of the mind on the issues of life when confronted with the reality of them.
The truth is things are going to change in their thinking after the 'I am' has spoken 'I am the resurrection' and the life' the Lord Jesus is talking on a deeper level than had be known before.
He is revealing the truth to the world not just to Martha and the assembled crowd that there is eternal life after death.
Death is only the end of the earthly life, it is the gateway into eternity, the body may die but the spirit returns to its Maker to give account of itself.
The Lord Jesus is opening up a tutorial that blasts away the theories because He presents the reality of life after death as a certainty.
He also presents the truth in simple language that all can take in that He has come into the world to transform death for human nature.
He is going to die Himself but He will rise again on the third day and He too will be seen by many after His resurrection.
The Lord Jesus talks about 'sleep' v 11 Lazarus is only waiting for the next command to be given and he will rise again from his sleep.
His body is in the grave but His spirit is very much alive and well and the Master asks Martha about her brother rising again but do you really believe it?
The promise is clear the reception of it is not, the word 'believeth' appears three times in vs.25 – 26 the first points to a solid trust in the facts.
The second time brings out the truth of the trusting soul that accepts the promise of eternal life by applying the promise to themselves.
The third time 'believeth' is used it points to the challenge of trusting the promise for yourself, the absolute belief because of who it is that has made the promise.
The 'I am the resurrection and the life' stated by the Lord Jesus is as operative today as it was when He stated it in Bethany.
So the challenge comes to us today do we really believe in the Lord Jesus to bring us into the heavenly place, not just in eternity but in the here and now?
He was crucified, dead and buried and He arose again being seen as Paul records in 1 Corinthians 15 vs.1 – 8 by many folk on various occasions afterwards.
We return to the promise made to Martha in John 11 the talking is over and the crowd are weeping and the Master is moved by their grief for Lazarus.
So much so that He weeps with for Lazarus and the crowd v 38 for a few seconds of time the people talk about the relationship that the Master had with Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha, a well know trio in Bethany but intimately known to the Lord Jesus.
He had stayed in their home on His visits to Jerusalem many times and He had made it is home because the door was always open to Him.
So we come to the promise and the fulfilment of it literally Lazarus had been dead four days v 39 so the stench would be awful when they pull the stone away from the entrance.
The promise is based on our 'belief in the truth' v 40 and in His prayer this is ratified with His Father 'that they may believe'.
We can rely on the promises to be fulfilled when we come to the source of the promise, eternity was involved in the death of Lazarus as it is with ours.
The passing from earth into eternity is a fact for those who believe experimentally on the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.
That assurance is ratified in v 43 and there was no power on earth, in hell or in heaven that could stop Lazarus rising from the dead.
The was nothing or no one who could stop the command from obeyed or the order being completed, 'Lazarus came forth' the sisters witnessed it, the crowd witnessed it.
Now this was the fulfilment of the promise made by the Lord Jesus and it points us to the future fulfilment of the same promise that He made to the believers.
'If you believe' points us to the future promise that the Lord Jesus has made with His people 'I go to prepare a place for you' John 14 v 1.
He has risen and ascended and right now He stands in the heavenly place,
He is there interceding for us who believe on Him.
He longs for the day when we shall return to collect His Bride so that we can all be together with Him in eternity.
He says 'where I am you will be also' John 14 v 3 a promise that cannot be broken, it is the statement made by the Son of God who was looking forward
to that glorious day.
The promise is made 'loose him' and Lazarus came out of the tomb and they took away the clothes that bound him.
What a terrific moment it will be for the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ when they hear the trumpet sound and see Him descending through the clouds to greet them.
Not a myth to keep us going but a promise that awaits fulfilment but it is as sure and certain as anything can be because of who it that has made it.
For so long we have believed with our head that the Lord is coming but we have not let it drop into our hearts so that there is real expectancy that He is coming again.
We are not found looking up with eager anticipation that it may be today when He will descend through the clouds to find us longing for His return.
The truth is we are more concerned with the life around us and the pleasures that we enjoy to stop and look at the scriptures to see what is really happening around us.
Praise the Lord you who believe and may it be a spur for us to take the other promises to ourselves and believe the One who made them.