”Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life.” —John 11:25 From this doctrine believers are led back to their first original, and have it discovered to them from whence they sprung. Why believers, you were among the generation of the dead, before He that is the resurrection and the life paid you a visit. It were much for the advantage of believers, to be recollecting, and looking back to the state from whence they sprung. I remember, God taught Israel to sing in the wilderness, when they came to offer up their first-fruits to Him: “A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous” (Deut. 26:5). And God by Ezekiel tells them what they were before He visited them: “As for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born, thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee: thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these things unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born” (Ezek. 16:4-5). Remember, believers, what you were, and what you are; and remember, it is only Him that is the resurrection and the life that brought you to any thing you are. 2. From this doctrine we may see what a blessing Christ is to a lost world, to a world of mankind sinners, “dead in trespasses and sins”; Christ is become the resurrection and the life to them; “I have laid help,” says the Lord, “upon one that is mighty.” “Men shall be blessed in him; and all nations shall call him blessed.” O what a wretched condition had we been in this day, if Christ had not come into the world to save us! we had continued among the generation of the dead, if He had not paid us a visit: “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help.”
We may see the difference between the first and the second Adam. The first Adam is the spring of death to all his posterity; the second Adam is a spring of life to all His posterity; the first Adam sends the curse of the law to them, and the second Adam sends all spiritual blessings and mercies to His posterity. O what a difference is there between these two!
From this doctrine we may see the intimacy and closeness of the union between Christ and His members: why, this is implied in the expression, I am the resurrection and the life. One would think He is taking in only Himself, but He takes in all believers; it is a relative word, it has a relation to those that are dead in trespasses and sins: “You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins”; that is, all that believe in Christ; “He that hath the Son, hath life.” That connection between Christ and His members is very close; there is a blessed oneness between Him and them; He and they have but one Father, He is the Son by eternal generation, and they are sons by regeneration; He and they under one decree; He as head of the election, and they elected in Him before the world began; He and they included in one bond; they have one and the same Spirit; the same Spirit that is in the head is in all the members. O what a blessed oneness is between Christ and them? “He that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one”; they are one in nature, and they are one in law, and they are comprised in one marriage-covenant: “He that is joined to the Lord, is one spirit.” Ralph Erskine