Thursday, April 10, 2014

John 11:1-27 (ESV)

1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.

“Everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” Bolder words have never been spoken. This claim that Jesus is making is difficult to comprehend, yet there is no waver or question to the absolute truth that He is proclaiming. That “whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” This statement by Jesus shows that death is not the end. Life is not done when we say our final words or take our last breath. There is a hope in this that cannot be squelched. The hope that life continues, the hope for something more, the hope that this life has meaning and is not just a mere flash in the pan.

The more time we spend in God’s Word, the more Jesus will come alive. We will see that God moves in ways that we can only begin to understand, and that His power and reach go far beyond what we think possible. Jesus is the hope of the world, our hope for eternal life and salvation. Just as Martha discovered in her life, we learn more and more about Jesus and who he truly is the deeper we go in our relationship with Him. God is not a God of distance, disconnection, or anything of that sort. He is an active God who walks with us each step of every journey in our lives.

Lord I give you thanks and praise for all you do, for overcoming death and the grave and dying for our sins. May I seek you more and more every day and have the faith to boldly proclaim that You are the resurrection and the life, and that whoever believes in You may die yet will live. Amen.