Teaching the living!
Welcome back to our Easter 2013 series, AGOG – A Glimpse of God. We are on Day 16 of our adventure, looking together at the life of the most amazing person in human history - Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?” Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
Resurrection and the Life
Jesus’ friend Lazarus was sick. His sisters, Mary and Martha, sent word to Jesus about this, hoping that Jesus would come and heal him. Jesus replies to this family he loves, that he wouldn’t come just yet and that the illness would not result in death! How could he be so sure, particularly from a distance? Though Jesus knew that Lazarus was dead, he still waited a further days before going there. He knew it didn't matter whether Lazarus was dead 2 days or 4 days - dead is dead!
Such was the eagerness of Martha to see Jesus when he eventually arrived she left the house of mourners and expressed some faith that God would hear Jesus' prayers. She uttered that Jesus was the Messiah, the Christ, the Saviour Messiah spoken about in the Old Testament.
The emotions of Jesus, love, feelings, weeping, sorrow and anger are revealed. They reflect his true humanity and his heart of compassion for people. Did you note that Jesus grew angry? Most people are surprised that Jesus gets angry and some people even deny it! As Jesus is the life, Jesus is angry with death and decay, as they are the end result of sin. Jesus is angry because death hurts people, even people close to him. This stirs Jesus deeply. Jesus is full of compassion, pity, sympathy, grief and care for this family. He shares their pain and shows it in his tears. He loves them and is determined to show this love in practise. He weeps.
Then the moment of truth arrives! Will Jesus be true to his word and raise Lazarus back to life again? Some doubted but Jesus knew that God would answer his prayers. First he thanks God that for hearing him and then issues the command for Lazarus to come out! Is this not one of the great moments of the Gospels? Jesus was true to his word! God heard his prayers and Lazarus was raised from the dead! He was dead but now back to physical life! One day Lazarus would die physically again but for now he had new life! This Jesus even had authority over death and life! Amazing! Yet, just after this event, the Jewish authorities, who were watching carefully, came up with a plot to kill Jesus.
This story is also true in a spiritual sense. When you allow Jesus to be your saviour and rely on him for your salvation, you become spiritually alive! Until then, you are spiritually dead. What are you waiting for? Again, I ask, who do you say Jesus is? But further, what are you going to do with this Jesus and let Him bring you to life spiritually? It is not too late! Today can be the day of your salvation and new life!
Come back tomorrow for Day 17 of our series AGOG, as we continue to look together at that extraordinary man, Jesus Christ, through the Gospel accounts! We will see together, somebody rejecting Jesus because the price of following Him was too high a price to pay! See you soon at Partakers!