The I Am statement we immerse ourselves in today comes in response to the sorrow surrounding the death of Lazarus. The Lord has purposely waited until His friend had died and begun to molder in a tomb and He arrives in Bethany during the period of deep mourning. Does Martha accuse Jesus when she meets Him saying if He had been here Lazarus would still be alive? Perhaps not angrily but it could have been a question that had swirled between Martha and Mary’s lips for the preceding four days. We ask it ourselves from time to time; where were you God when this or that was happening to me? You could have prevented it or guided me away or, or …
Notice that the Lord does not rebuke her for her challenge. Isn’t it good to know that God knows us well enough to not take offense at our outbursts? He knows the limitations of our hearts and our understanding. God knows that we can intellectually assent to the idea spoken through Isaiah, ‘my thoughts are not your thoughts’ but in our hearts we push this aside and reveal our innermost anger and hurts. In love, the Lord listens and is compassionate. Like Martha, we can pull out our intellectual reserve and repeat it when questioned theologically during our grief: ‘yes Lord, everything will be well at some point.’ But what about now we wonder, can you help me now?
Jesus said to here, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never dies. Do you believe this? " John 11:18
Do you believe this beyond the intellectual point? Immersing ourselves in this I Am brings us to a different point of confidence in this life. We no longer have to simply look ahead to the new life, we have it now in full and we have nothing to fear. Though we may die, we will not die! Making this a part of who we are leads us to follow Martha and Peter in exclaiming ‘Yes Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God’ and then living as though we believe it.