“Do you believe this?" (John 11:26)
Peter Marshall tells the story of a young boy about four years old who had a terminal disease. At first he didn’t understand his condition, but finally he realized that he wasn’t going to get better and would never again play with his friends. So one morning he asked his mother, “Am I going to die?” And she said, “Yes, dear.” “Momma, what is death like? Will it hurt?”
The mother ran out of the room to the kitchen and leaned against the refrigerator, her knuckles gripped white to keep from crying. She prayed and asked the Lord to give her an answer for her son. Suddenly, an idea came and she went back in his room and sat down on the bed.
"Timmy, do you remember how you used to play outside all day and when you came inside at night you were so tired you just fell down on the couch and slept? In the morning you woke up in your own bed and you wondered how you got there. During the night your father would pick you up and carry you to your own bed.”
"That’s what death is like. One night you lie down and go to sleep and in the middle of the night your Heavenly Father comes and picks you up and carries you to your own bed. In the morning when you wake up, you’re in your own room in heaven.”
The little boy smiled and nodded. Several weeks later he died peacefully. That’s what death is like for the Christian. Satan’s hold is broken. The fear is taken away.
It’s a wonderful thing to be a Christian and to know your sins are forgiven and to know that death is not the end but the beginning. Jesus said, “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 die” (John 11:25-26a). Then he added these words that we often overlook, “Do you believe this?” (John 11:26b). Since truth must always become personal, let me ask you six questions.
1. Do you believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came from heaven to live on this earth 2000 years ago?
2. Do you believe that when he died on the Cross, he died in your place, bearing your punishment, and paying for your sins?
3. Do you believe than on Easter Sunday morning, he literally, physically, bodily rose from the dead never to die again?
4. Do you believe that Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God the Father?
5. Do you believe that Jesus is truly the resurrection and the life and that he is able to remove the terror of death for those who trust him?
6. Are you willing to stake your life on your answers to the first five questions?
I encourage you to read each question and then answer out loud.
Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He has a question for you today.
Do you believe this?
Lord Jesus, what would we do without you? Where could we go but to the Lord? You alone have the words of eternal life. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. Thank you for a hope more solid than Gibraltar, a hope that goes beyond the grave. Amen.
Read John 11:25-26. What promise does Jesus make regarding believers who die? How is it possible to live even though you die? What does this tell us about the present state of our loved one who died in Christ? How should Christians view their own death? Regarding what Jesus said . . . Do you believe this?