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"Do you believe this?"

I am the resurrection and the life...Do you believe this?" ----------------------------

"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 11:21-27

What a fascinating interchange between Jesus and his friend Martha about her brother Lazarus! In her grief she blurts out the desire of her heart: that if Jesus had been there earlier, he could have saved Lazarus from death. She even states that he can raise him now. Jesus intimates that the most important resurrection for Lazarus is not what he is just about to do when he raises him, but the resurrection of the body that "will never die."

He then asks Martha (and each of us), "Do you believe this?" Her response is amazing. She puts her faith in who she knows Jesus to be: "the Messiah, the Song of God."

On Easter, this is the question to each of us: "Do you believe this?" For me, nine years ago on April 10th, I had prostate cancer surgery. Nine years ago I had to answer this question at a more visceral level than ever before. Do I hold onto this offer of Jesus, "The one who believes in me will live, even though they die." My diagnosis forced me to ask this question and over time I became more rooted in his offer that "whoever lives by believing in me will never die." Though our bodies will die, because of the resurrection, we will live.

This is at the heart of the Gospel. In Jesus's resurrection, we are offered the hope of resurrection. As the Apostle Paul says, "and if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless, and so is your faith." This is the reason we celebrate Easter: "The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he has put everything under his feet" (1 Cor. 15:14, 26-27). The empty tomb, the risen Christ, the offer of eternal life - For each of us, the question remains: "Do you believe this?" - Art Kopicky

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