The cross and resurrection have been pivotal in determining my faith. Remove the two, and there is nothing left but a homeless man who taught good things, did miracles and went around Jerusalem and nearby cities claiming he was God. If Jesus was merely a man, he must have been out of his mind to say he was God. A good teacher cannot lie about His true identity, can He? But if he was really God, then we need to take his words seriously and understand all of his claims. Jesus made pretty bold claims about himself throughout His public ministry and his works of miracles proved he really had power, not magic, but power. Real, life giving, life altering power. One of His most important claims is recorded in John 11:25. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” The claim was followed by a life giving miracle. This claim was recorded by his closest eye witness, John, the only disciple who stood next to Jesus when He was hanging on the cross. Jesus made this bold, almost heretic claim, right before bringing a man to life from death. The man’s name was Lazarus. He had been dead for 4 days and Jesus raised him from the dead by just speaking to him to walk out of the grave, and Lazarus did. Lazarus came out, the grave clothes wrapped around him. A dead man was alive again. This miracle put Jesus on the spotlight and ultimately led to the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus. I’m sure, the disciple John, who recorded the resurrection of Lazarus, stood by the cross wondering how could it be that their Messiah, who raised a dead man from grave, couldn’t save himself. The Messiah who was supposed to be powerful was right before his eyes, hanging on a cross, dead. He saw the dead body of Jesus being taken down from the cross, wrapped in linen and being placed in a tomb. Stones were rolled to seal the tomb and Roman soldiers were stationed to gaurd the dead body. On the third day, a group of women, who sounded crazy, told John and other disciples, that Jesus had risen from the dead. John couldn’t believe but out of curiosity went to the tomb to see and found that the women were atleast partially right. The body of Jesus was missing. Maybe someone stole it? Jesus later appeared to John and the other scared disciples, in flesh. He ate food with them and spoke to them. Jesus appeared to the disciples several other times after the resurrection. Could a ghost eat food? His body looked real! This was too good to be true. But John and other disciples saw Jesus and believed. They were so convinced of Jesus’s resurrection that they no longer counted their life important. Despite threats from the religious leaders and the terrorizing Roman government, the disciples spoke about the death and resurrection of Jesus. What was their prize for speaking about Jesus? All of the disciples suffered persecution and even died martyrs or died in prison for their faith and witness of Jesus. These weren’t crazy religious fanatics.. This men and women were first hand eye witnesses of Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. Why would the disciples, the first eye witnesses, give their life for a dead man? The disciples died poor, often hungry and cold? What motivated them? It cost their very lives for speaking what they saw and for some reason, they couldn’t lie to save their lives. Something about Jesus’s death and resurrection sent more than 12 men and women into different parts of the world to proclaim what they had seen. The resurrection altered their life in such a way, that they just couldn’t be quite about it! That begs the question… if the resurrection was true, how could anyone be quite? It changes everything!!