The verse contains an important truth for us, "I am the resurrection and the life." Jesus did not speak this to His disciples, but to Martha as she stood by her brother's tomb. Martha reminded Jesus that she knew this was for the last day. We are smart that way too. I have studied the end times with great joy and fascination for quite some time now. Many have studied and then left it behind, not as an act of rebellion, but because there is a peril to eschatology. That peril a group of Paul's disciples faced when they gave up all earthly duties and responsibilities, and then retired to their rooftops to await the second coming. We know from further reading that Paul got them back to it, for we do not know the day or hour when Jesus will return.
Paul looked for it in his day, as I'm sure Augustine did a bit later, and then Constantine, and popes and ministers and prophets and many believers up to the present day. All of them were wrong in expecting to see it in their lifetime, but none of them were wrong to expect the return in their lifetime. We are not wrong to expect the second coming in our lifetime, but we may very well be wrong that it will happen in our lifetime. Jesus may not return for another thousand or two thousand years. I like the end times study, but I think it is time for me to leave it behind too and learn to live again now.
One way to look at it is that if all the brothers and sisters in Christ drop everything to stare heavenward, who will spread the good news of Jesus to those who do not yet believe? Nothing prevents the return of Jesus at this moment except perhaps one great thing: the patience of God the Father in allowing a little more time for those who have not heard or cannot yet decide to believe in Christ. We have writings to write, speeches to speak, words to pass on, and love to give for a time yet. Let us look around at the harvest and spread the good news.
Martha did not have to wait for the end time to see her brother live again. Jesus called Lazarus forth from the tomb. Jesus is good at resurrecting the lives of those who may have fallen by the wayside on the journey for spending too much time looking up. In so many ways, I am one of those. But I believe in Jesus, the resurrector of lives.Bucky