Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).
The Old Testament taught the Jews that when they died, they went to Sheol, to a shadowy existence in the place for the dead. The New Testament translates the Hebrew word “Sheol” into the Greek word “Hades.” Many Jews, including the Pharisees, believed in a resurrection of the dead from Sheol on the last day of human history as we know it. After Lazarus died, in John 11:24, Martha expressed this belief to Jesus, saying, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Martha had a firm belief in Jesus as her Lord, the Messiah, and the Son of God (John 11:27). Martha, Mary, and Lazarus believed in Jesus and had received the gift of eternal life, for Jesus’ promise to all in John 3:16, applied to them, “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus teaches more about himself to those who have received the gift of eternal life as they trust, obey, and follow Him daily. Applying the divine title or name “I am” to himself, Jesus told Martha that He was also the resurrection and the life; therefore, resurrection was not just a future event. When a believer’s body dies, Jesus’ divine power keeps them alive. Before the last day, a believer’s body may die, but their spirit united with the Holy Spirit will go to be with Jesus in Paradise, where they will look forward to receiving resurrected glorified human bodies at the return of Jesus on the last day.