Tag Archives: lazarus

Ezekiel 31-33; John 11

The resurrection of Lazarus. There were so many things going on when we come to John 11. Jesus receives word that Lazarus is sick. He is petitioned to go quickly to heal him. Jesus waits two more days before traveling to see his friend. That’s where we come across the first character study. It’s with the disciple Thomas. Thomas later in the Gospels doubts the resurrection of Jesus, but here he is ready to die with Jesus. There were hostile territories they would be passing through and Thomas believes they may die before even reaching Lazarus. Jesus has told them that Lazarus has died, so we find Thomas stating the following:

16 So Thomas, called the Twin,2 said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (John 11:16 [ESV])

Thomas was willing to die with Jesus in chapter 11 and later in this passage he witnesses the resurrection of Lazarus, but later doubts that the same thing could have happened to Jesus. Here he is courageous, later he is doubtful. What happened to Thomas along the way? None of us really know, but it brings out the fact that we need to stay in touch with Jesus and His power to change lives lest we too fall into a doubtful jaded place in our spiritual lives.

Jesus and the disciples get to Mary and Martha and see how distraught they are. How hopeless they are and even thought Jesus knows what’s going to happen, he weeps with them. Verse 35 is the shortest verse in the Bible…

35 Jesus wept. (John 11:35 [ESV])

Even in our darkest most emotional moments we are not alone. And on this side of eternity the one thing we know is that when we weep, Jesus weeps with us. He is our high priest and has suffered all that we have suffered. He stands with us and weeps as we weep. What a powerful picture of God’s love for us all.

That brings us to our third observation. The religious leaders instead of being convinced of Jesus’ Messiah-ship at this point are ready to kill Him. This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Can you believe this? Read it for yourself:

49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all. 50 Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.” 51 He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation… (John 11:49-51 [ESV])

The darkness of the human heart can be very deep. Don’t be surprised, then, when you share the gospel with friends and family, if people who saw Jesus resurrect Lazarus are ready to kill Him. Our job — like Jesus — is to be faithful to the mission God has given us and let Him handle the consequences.

A couple of question this morning:

  • Have you lost your zeal for Jesus? Are you falling into a season of doubt. Ask Him to rekindle that love you have had for Him in the past.
  • Are you grieving over a lost loved one or a broken relationship? Remember Jesus cares and is weeping with you today.
  • If for some reason you stumbled across this blog by accident today and don’t know Jesus at all, what will it take? He has raised the dead, He has performed miracles way beyond what our minds can imagine. Yet today He wants to have a personal relationship with you. Please let Him into your life to have that relationship.
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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, ESV Through the Bible in a Year, Ezekiel, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, Uncategorized

Exodus 32; John 11; Proverbs 8; Ephesians 1

When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and told Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11: 32)

Mary’s emotion was so raw.  Her grief and anguish radiated from her body.  I can almost hear her words in between her sobs.  I picture her whole body just shaking, desperately wanting her brother back, knowing that Jesus Himself could have prevented Lazarus’ death. Maybe this picture is so real to me because it once was me…

The day that I got the phone call telling me that my husband and six kids were in a car accident that took the life of my husband, I immediately went into shock.  I was able to handle the initial days following his death with strength and poise, giving God glory and praise.  But several weeks later the reality of the situation hit me smack in the face.  I was 36 years old. I had 6 kids.  I was a widow.  I moved into a dark and depressed place.  In my eyes, the “unfairness” of the situation was almost too much for me to even bear.  I was exhausted, overwhelmed, and just really missed my husband.  I wanted to die too.  Death seemed so much easier than to carry the whole weight of the world on my shoulders.  Like Mary, I wrestled with the fact that God could have stopped the accident.  He was powerful enough to have prevented Kevin’s death.  But He chose not to.  Being authentic with God, like Mary, telling Him my feelings was such a huge release.  I knew that I wanted to fully trust God.  I knew that I wanted this tragedy to grow me.  Wrestling with God was critical for this growth.  I needed to pour my heart and feelings out to Him.  God is a BIG God.  He could handle my raw emotions.  He wasn’t going to turn His back on me because I was honest with Him.  In fact, I believe the opposite is true.  I believe that He loved the fact that I was authentic with Him.  In fact, as I read on in John, I get a better picture of God’s response to my sorrow…

When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, He was angry in His spirit and deeply moved. “Where have you put him?” He asked.

“Lord,” they told Him, “come and see.”

Jesus wept. (John 11: 33-35)

Jesus was in fact deeply moved by my sorrow.  I think His anger here refers to His anger about human suffering and death — that He knows that life here on earth is full of pain, hurt, struggles.  He knows that life, in the Garden, was never supposed to be this way.  He knows that His life would have to be spared to conquer death.  He knows how much I was hurting, how broken I was (am).  And what was His response?  Jesus wept.  Jesus bitterly sobbed over my loss.  Over my pain.  Over my devastation.  Over my grief.  Oh, how thankful I am to be serving a heavenly Father who the creator of emotions — who cares so deeply for me that He weeps with me.

So I was faced with this…. God could have chosen to spare my husband’s life, saving me and my children from years of agony.  However, for whatever reason, God decided that Kevin’s time here on earth was up.  It certainly was not the plan that I would have picked for my life.  But, I know and believe that God is God.  He will use all of my pain and suffering for good.  He will redeem the years that the locusts have stolen.  He will turn these ashes into beauty.  I believe this with all of my heart.  And God, in His goodness and mercy, has shown me little snapshots of how He is working all of this for His good.  I will choose to trust Him for all of my days.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live.  Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die – ever.” (John 11:25-26)

God, I thank You that You are a tender-hearted Father.  I praise You for being my Rock, my Fortress.  Thank You that You want my heart, all of it.  I am so grateful that I can be honest with You, sharing my deepest emotions.  And Lord, I praise You for eternal life!

Amen.

Suzie (suzielawyer)

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Filed under 66 Books, John, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Uncategorized

John 11-12

Scripture

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.”

~John 11:9-10

Obervation and Application

These verses struck me as I read this familiar account. The commentators have a few different applications for what it might mean, but clearly Jesus walked in the light. He walked with confidence in the will of the Father. He did not stumble blindly, but walked with intent. And, because of that he knew when to pause. When to wait those few baffling days and allow Lazarus to die. I’m sure the disciples and Mary and Martha thought they would never figure him out. Yes, His thoughts are far above our thoughts.

Finally, he heads to those who mourn their brother.

Here Mary matches more closely to my response. I wouldn’t even know what to say to Christ, much less feel the boldness to approach on my own to blurt it out. I would long to run to Him for comfort and strength and answers, but where to begin? Instead, I would likely stay quietly behind, perhaps ashamed of the doubt and confusion that fills my own mind. But then, Christ wants her to come to him.

Even knowing that Lazarus would soon walk the earth again, Christ is moved to tears by her emotion. That is incredible to me. To have that depth of compassion. Can I relate that deeply to another’s pain? I think especially of children, my children. How often do I brush off their griefs as a mere trifle? Maybe a brief word of comfort passes my lips, but I really need to ache with them first for the comfort to truly meet them.

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for walking this earth, for taking on human form and showing us what it’s supposed to look like. Thank you for Your deep compassion, even in the face of our comparatively silly fears and griefs. Help me, Lord, to walk in Your light and not stumble about in the darkness of my own direction. Give me a tenderness toward those around me, to feel their pain even if it is not my own. ~Amen

5intow (Erin)

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