Yet Shall He Live

Yet Shall He Live

John S. Robertson

The place was Bethany. Two sisters sat grieved and disconsolate. Into that home, the enemy of life had entered and snatched away a brother, and now, four days had elapsed since his earthly remains had been committed to the grave. Disappointment bordering upon despair, had descended upon the the two mourners.

Down the ages, this scene has been re-enacted time and time again. Let us draw near and visit this home. Let us learn from their experience a lesson to comfort the sorrowing. Let us see, in the house of mourning, the sweetness of consolation. Let us find solace for bereavement and a revitalizing hope for the gloom-drenched soul.

On a number of occasions, the Lord Jesus had turned aside from the distractions and cares of His earthly journey to visit here. Martha, Mary, and Lazarus had learned to love the Saviour; His name had been ever on their lips. It is not surprising therefore that the two sisters should have turned to Him in their hour of trial and hurriedly dispatched the message, “Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick” (John 11:3). How anxiously they must have awaited his response! How they would have rejoiced to hear Him say, “This sickness is not unto death” (vs. 4)!

How often we too are driven to our knees when a loved one takes ill! How earnestly we plead his case before our sympathizing Lord! As hope for recovery grows dim, our prayers are oft-times mingled with tears. Then, when God is pleased to call the ailing one home, our minds turn to that twice expressed declaration of faith, “Lord, if Thou hast been here my brother had not died” (vs. 21). Such is our confidence. Death can never prevail in His presence.

Into this dwelling saddened by bereavement, the Lord Jesus Christ entered. What did He say to those who mourned? Listen to His words, “I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me, shall never die” (vs. 25-26). How startling! How profound!

“I am the Resurrection and the Life.” No one but an omnipotent God could have made such a declaration. Jesus stands revealed as the Author of life and the sustaining force of animate being. “He that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” For the Christian there is no actual death. “The old order changeth, giving place to the new,” the place in which only life functions change. In one brief moment, the soul is transported from earth to Heaven, there to dwell for ever. This is the startling revelation Christ made to two sorrowing hearts. This is our hope. This is why we “sorrow not as others.”

“Whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.” The Lord rephrased His immutable proclamation and turning to the distraught inquired, “Believeth thou this?” Let us lay hold on this stupendous utterance. Our loved one lives! Far beyond the ken of human thought, mortal has put on immortality and has taken up residence in the land of “no more.”

God, in His grace, draws aside the vail for a moment and presents to our wondering eyes the land of “fadeless day,” where God Himself, “shall wipe away all tears.” In that land of tomorrow, “there shall be no more death, nether sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain” (Rev. 21:14(. How wonderful that He should come to quieten the suffering disease-wracked body! How gracious that He should cool for aye the fevered brow! With what loving hands He carries the soul to its celestial home on high! There faith gives place to sight and the spirit takes up his eternal abode.

“Meet companion, then, for Jesus,
From Him, for Him, made.
Glory of God’s grace for ever,
There in me displayed.”

“Yet shall he live!” How this should cheer the bereaved! When called upon to look upon our loved one for the last time, how this unequivocal promise should still our fears! As we view the cold unresponsive clay that once housed a loved and inspiring spirit, these words should turn our thoughts above. Though time has run its course, it is not the end. “Because I live, ye shall live also,” were His own sweet words of comfort in John 14:19. “The sky, not the grave, is our goal.” A life has been lived, and a soul has entered into his eternal sphere.

For one, the desert journey is over and a new life has begun. Those words sung with nostalgic fervour on earth are now fully consummated.

“I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.”

Home at last! Called into His own glad presence and presented “faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24). Could we wish it otherwise?

“Father, I will that they also, whom Thou has given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory.” What a prospect! “His forever, only His!” Loved and Lover one!