Jesus said to her,
"I Am the Resurrection and the Life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives, and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"
Have you ever been in a situation when you prayed and called on the Lord, knowing He loved you, but He didn’t answer in your timing or in the way you expected? I certainly have and bet you have too. Lazarus was the brother of two sisters, Mary and Martha. Jesus spent intimate time with this little family, and they knew they were known by Him, and He loved them. However when Lazarus became very ill, and the sisters sent a message to Jesus:
Lord, behold he who you love is sick. (John 11:3)
In John 11:4 we read the response:
But when Jesus heard this, He said,
"This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it. "
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
As we continue reading of the account in John 11 we see Jesus stayed two more days before leaving where he was. Then we read where he plainly informs his disciples Lazarus is dead, and he is glad for their sakes that they might believe. That is the cry of His heart throughout this entire ordeal. God is in control and He is always right. He is perfect in all His ways. We must all come to believe Jesus is who He said He is and was, and is to come.
As Jesus is approaching Bethany where they lived Martha ran to meet Him and said,
"Lord if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."
Jesus said to her,
"Your brother will rise again." (John 11:21-23)
Martha knows Jesus. They are intimately acquainted. She knows He is the Son of God and knows whatever He asks of His Father, He will have it. When Jesus tells her Lazarus will rise again she gets it, she thinks. She knows at the resurrection on the last day all will rise who are in Christ Jesus, our Lord. But this complexing situation is going to reveal who He is in a much deeper, dramatic way than she could imagine.
Jesus is asking us the same question He asked Martha through His Word this morning. Do we truly believe He is the Resurrection and the Life? If we say yes, do we know even if we die, we live eternally if we believe?
Considering the times we are living in at present, it is vital we determine what we honestly believe when He doesn’t do it our way, or in our timing. We have to trust in the character of God and His love for us as individuals. This cannot be revealed through others to you. It has to come the same way it did for Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. They came to know Him and His love for them through spending time alone with Him. There is no one, or anything worth pursuing over your relationship with the Triune, God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Yes, it is three in one, but still separate identities. We all have great need of a perfect Father, and there is only One; the One who created you. We were all in need of a Savior, and a Redeemer. Jesus became that. There is only One. When He ascended back to the Father after laying down His life for all mankind for the Father, He promised He would not leave us as orphans, but would send the Holy Spirit to come live inside us to guide us and comfort us, and to lead us into all truth. How profound is that! We are without excuse. He has always abundantly provided for His creation of man from the beginning to the end of life on this earth and into eternity! Do we earnestly believe He is all He proclaims? We must believe it all or none. There is no in between. Read Revelation 3:15-16:
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth."
Jesus then encounters weeping Mary who had anointed Him with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair. When Jesus saw the weeping scripture records He was deeply moved in spirit and was deeply troubled. It then declares, "Jesus wept." In verse 38 it records again:
"So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb…"
He tells them to move the stone from the tomb. Martha then informs Jesus there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days. Jesus said to her,
"Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?"
He so desires for us to believe and have faith in who He is!
Jesus raised His eyes, and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I know that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me."
He then cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
What are you wrapped in this morning? Is it the death cloth of sin and unbelief that keeps you from the Lifegiver? Are you paralyzed with layers of hurt and unforgiveness? Do you feel you are too dirty from wallering in the filth of this world? Does your life have a stench from the wounds of unbelief, and going your own way? Know this! You are loved by God the Father. He takes us just as we are. He has provided all you need to have eternal life in His Son, Jesus. Believe He is who He claims to be and more! He has an unlimited supply of the love you have been searching for. All you have to do is come to Him and sincerely ask Him to roll the stone away from your heart that you might be free from the trappings of the sins that lead to death physically and eternally. There is a Healer for both. His Word brings healing. Start reading it to find out what to do next. The Resurrection and the Life has always been and will always be, and is to come. Prepare yourself by believing, and putting your faith in the One true God, and His love for you just as you are. You will not remain as you are when you surrender your life completely to the Son of God. His love is greater than any sin you can commit. No one is hopeless. His love is the greatest power in existence!
In His love.
Ran the High Five Peaks 10 miler yesterday at Hanging Rock State Park in NC. This is one of my all time favorites! It is challenging and you are rewarded with five spectacular views. I was blessed to run with two young gentlemen who were seniors approaching graduation. They both plan to immediately go into the military, one Marines and the other Air Force, because they obviously believe our country is still worth fighting for. Very impressive young man wanting to fulfill God’s purpose in their lives.