Mary and Martha were desperate. Lazarus was close to death. They sent word to Jesus to come quickly. They knew that just a touch or a word from Him would heal their brother.
They waited in hopeful expectation. One day turned into two and still no Jesus. With each passing day, Lazarus’ condition worsened. But as long as he was alive, hope remained.
When He received word of the situation, Jesus told His disciples that it would not end in Lazarus’ death. But it did. When Jesus finally arrived on the scene, Lazarus had been in the tomb four days, his body already decomposing.
His death was devastating to Mary and Martha, and to all those who loved Lazarus. When he died, the hope they clung to vanished. There was nothing now that Jesus could do.
They expressed their frustration and disappointment. First Martha, and then Mary said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Mary wept in the Lord’s presence. Her tears, along with the tears of her friends, troubled Jesus.
He went to the place where they had laid Lazarus’ body. The Scripture tells us that Jesus wept.
Something supernatural was about to happen. Jesus had clued them in, but their minds could not grasp His bold claim.
"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25, 26)
This was His announcement of the Gospel, the good news of why He came.
Then He asked a profound question: “Do you believe this?”
Martha was not sure how to answer, nor was anyone else present on the scene that day. Their thoughts were fixed on the death of Lazarus.
Death, however, is not a problem with Jesus. That is what He was communicating to them, but they did not understand.
Moved with compassion, Jesus asked that the stone be rolled away from the tomb. In a loud voice, He called out, “Lazarus.” The man who had died 4 days previously walked out alive. The Scripture records that many believed in Jesus and began to follow Him.
Not long after this event, Jesus was raised from the dead. He defeated death once and for all. This single event is the most significant event in human history. It is the hinge on which Christianity turns. Without it, as Paul writes, we would still be in our sins, our faith would have no value, and we would be pitied above all people. In other words, Christianity would not exist apart from the resurrection.
Why was Jesus raised from the dead? Most would answer that the resurrection was God’s final proof that Jesus was the Messiah. Yes, the resurrection proves this fact, but the meaning to you and me goes much deeper.
Salvation is being made alive spiritually. The Apostles got it. They didn’t miss the point that they were once dead and were now alive. They gave their lives telling others the good news that Jesus was raised from the dead and that new life is available through faith in Him.
Jesus asks the same question of us, “Do you believe this?”
Do you believe that Jesus was raised from the dead? Do you believe that through faith in Him, you who were dead in sin are made alive together with Him?
Resurrection is the heart and soul of the Gospel message. And it is the connection point of belief and salvation: “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
What’s more, resurrection is the miracle that occurs every time someone turns to Christ by faith. It happens daily in every corner of the world. Someone dead in sin is born again of the Spirit and is raised to walk in the newness of life. That is the power of the Gospel, the amazing grace God pours out on those who look to Him for life.
Paul put it in these terms: “ But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Ephesians 2:4,5).
God gives life to the dead. Why should we ever think this is a far-fetched idea? It is to the skeptics of the world, but to us who know Jesus, resurrection is the cornerstone of our faith.
The Gospel is not the story of a dead religious founder, nor is the Christian life a self-improvement program. The heart of the Gospel is the resurrection. It is God’s way of restoring spiritual life in man.
For more information on this topic, a suggested resource is The Resurrection – Power for Daily Living (CDTR)
I like the word “new.” I bet you do too.
It is an exciting word, especially when it is attached to things like cars, a house, or gadgets. Let’s face it. We like “new” things, and we want “new” things. We just have to have the latest and greatest. This desire for “new” has reached a fevered pitch.When God Speaks
When God speaks, what does He say?
Two stories that are in Matthew, Mark and Luke provide the answer. God spoke in an audible voice in both. Let's take a look.The Good News
A local Dallas television station shares a daily segment on its morning show titled, “Tell us something good.” Amid the constant barrage of stories of scandal, sexual immorality, murder, cheating, stealing and slander, this feature focuses on the good news happening in the community. We all need to hear good news.
"Today is a special day on the Jewish calendar. It's Yom Kippur - The Day of Atonement. It's the one day of the year that the High Priest would enter into the Holy of Holies. We find that mercy seat in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ cleansed the people by his blood and took away our sin once and for all. Ephesians 1:7 Colossians 1:13-14 * Kat is struggling with loneliness and needs assurance of salvation * Karin asks how best to share Jesus Christ with her friend. * If we are healed by his stripes, why do we still get sick?All Sermons by Bob Christopher and Bob Davis