25b I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.
Oh, with what great authority Christ spoke those words! Take note that He said “I am”, and not “I will be”. No human being could speak in such a manner, except the One who came down from heaven. Those are the words of the self-existing God, the Great “I AM”. He alone has the power to give life and to bring one back from death unto life.
Jesus spoke those potent words while he was conversing with Martha, whose brother Lazarus had been dead for four days already. When Jesus said to her, “Thy brother shall rise again”, she replied, “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:23-24). At this juncture, Jesus wanted Martha to realise that resurrection, whether future or present, occurs as He wills. Martha had not yet fully perceived that the power of resurrection is with Him. Therefore, Christ here specifically told her that He is “the resurrection”. In other words, Christ is the principal cause of resurrection, i.e. the power unto resurrection abides in Jesus Christ.
In John 5:28-29, Jesus said, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice. And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
Not only is Christ the resurrection, He is also the life. Here the word “life” refers to the life which the dead shall have upon the resurrection, even the eternal life which shall follow. Note the order: first resurrection, then life. This is because resurrection opens the door to eternal life in heaven. Both the resurrection and the life are rooted in Christ.
Jesus also said: “he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live”. Only those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ can have the hope of eternal life beyond the grave. Death is a grim reality to anyone who rejects Christ’s claim as the resurrection and eternal life; he has no hope of the glorious life in heaven. One’s death ends all opportunities one can have to be sure of one’s eternal blessedness. So, as Jesus said in the next verse, “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” (John 11:26). While a man is alive, he should believe on Christ; then he shall have the hope and power of heavenly life in him.