John 11:1-32

John 11:1-32 has the familiar story of Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus along with his sisters Mary and Martha.  Lazarus fell sick, and his sisters sent word to Jesus that they needed Him to come.  “When Jesus got the message, he said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son”.  Jesus has things well in hand.  He knows the situation, and He knows His power.  So even though He had been asked to come, “oddly, when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed on where he was for two more days”.

Why would Jesus do that?  A friend is sick and He has the power to heal.  It was because Jesus wanted to take this opportunity to show His power beyond merely healing.  Jesus told His disciples “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. I’m going to wake him up”.  They took Him literally and didn’t understand that Lazarus was dead.  They were worried about the fact that the Jewish leaders were out to kill Jesus and they would be part of that.  Thomas says “Come along. We might as well die with him”.  The disciples are ready to go with Jesus and He tells them “You’re about to be given new grounds for believing”.  It’s going to be a sight to behold.

By now, “Lazarus was already four days dead”.  Jesus not only didn’t rush, He made sure there was plenty of time for everyone to know the situation.  Martha hears that Jesus is approaching and runs out to meet him saying “Master, if you’d been here, my brother wouldn’t have died”.  She knew Jesus could have healed her brother.  Mary a few verses later says almost the exact same words.  But they hadn’t yet figured out that Jesus was still able to raise him.  Jesus tells her “I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live”.  That is a promise that applies to you and me.  If we believe in Him, we will have life, eternal life.

But Jesus goes on to make it even clearer.  “Everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all”.  Not only do we have the opportunity to believe in Christ and receive eternal life, but we don’t have to experience spiritual death at all.  We will die physically, but we will enter into eternity with God and His Son when we die.  Then Jesus asks the 64 million dollar question: “Do you believe this”?  Eternal life is an offer from Jesus, but we have to take the step of belief.  We have to make it our own.  We have to receive His gift of grace and believe.  Our parents can’t do it for us, our spouse or kids can’t, our church can’t.  Salvation is between you and Jesus.  What have you done with Jesus?  Have you received His gift?  Do you believe?

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