Jesus performed many miracles during His ministry here on earth so that people could see that He was the Son of God. One of His greatest miracles was that of raising Lazarus from the dead and was a precursor to the significance of His own death that so many could not understand. In John 11:1-3 we read that Lazarus, a loving friend of Jesus was sick and His sisters Mary and Martha had sent word they needed Jesus to come and heal him.
Jesus delayed going so that He could show and teach His disciples the meaning of His impending death and resurrection. The disciples did not want Jesus going to Bethany to do this for fear they would seize Jesus and stone Him. The town, Bethany, was near Jerusalem and “Jesus told His disciples in John 11:11 “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up”
Jesus knew that His friend was already dead as He plainly told His disciples in v15 “Lazarus is dead and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless, let us go to him.” Throughout his teachings even His disciples struggled to understand much of what He taught. He had told His disciples three time s of His impending death that He must endure, but they just couldn’t process or accept what He was saying. They were in denial and suppressing the truth.
Jesus arrives and finds that His friend had been dead already for four days and was met by Martha, who was upset that Jesus had not come sooner. Jesus tells here in v23 “Your brother will rise again.”
And then says to Martha in John 11:25 “ I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though they may die, he shall live, and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this ? “
Jesus then has them remove the stone in front of grave, and Martha was very concerned and worried about the smell knowing he had been dead already four days to which Jesus replies in v40 “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God ? “
Jesus lifts up His eyes and says in v42 “ Father, I thank you that you have heard Me. And I know You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” And then with a loud voice Jesus said “Lazarus come forth.” And still wrapped with grave clothes Lazarus walked out of His grave.
One can only imagine what was going through peoples minds and hearts as they witnessed the unfathomable power of the Son of Man resurrecting a man from the dead. Little did they know this was what they would witness as their(our) beloved King would suffer the agonizing death of crucifixion - to rise again by the power of God in His own resurrection.
Many were amazed and believed in Christ and some went on to the Pharisees and the chief priests who said in v47 “ What shall we do ? For this Man works many signs. “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation.”
Their pride, arrogance, greed and self-righteousness was at stake here. What would happen to them if everyone believed in Jesus and not them. After all they were the leaders of the day and their social status, possessions, and power could be taken from them.
Does this not strike at the heart of what is going on today ? Is our pride, greed and self-indulgence preventing us from truly turning to God and completely surrendering ourselves to Him ? Are we just not willing to give up ourselves to pursue the true riches of life in Christ ?
Let me leave you with these powerful verses to ponder and think about this week.
John 1:4,5,9,10-14 " In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. v5 And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it. v9 That was the true light which gives light to everyone coming into the world. v10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. v11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. v12 But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, v13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God. v14 And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Start today – Don’t delay and change your life - Let the words of God speak to you and be filled with a peace and joy beyond measure.
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