March 29, 2022
What does Lazarus, his sister Martha and Jesus have in common?
In John 11, we read of the event concerning Lazarus, Martha, and Jesus. Jesus and His disciples were ministering else where when the message came from Martha in verse 4 "Lord, behold, he whom You loved is sick." The message meant in today's language "Lord, come quick our brother Lazarus is bad sick." We read as the event takes place that Jesus delays their departure for two more days and then returns to be with the family. When He arrives, He is met by Martha and she tells Him that Lazarus has died. She questioned Jesus "if you had only been there." In other words, my brother and your friend would not have died if you were here for you could have healed him. Martha was grieving her brother's death. She had faith as long as her brother was alive, but now her faith failed as he is dead. Yet! There stood Jesus. The great hymn comes to mind about this event that says "He was four days late, but right on time." Yes, we should all remember that in life or death our faith in Jesus must never change. Doubt is the work of the devil attempting to get you to look down at your own self, your own weaknesses and all the while you forget to look up or look within to your Savior Jesus. Even with Jesus there, Martha let her faith fail. We hear her tell Jesus "I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." Jesus said to her "Your brother will rise again" for which she said to Him "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Lazarus is dead and in the tomb. Martha is grieving and faith is failing. Then there is Jesus! Jesus said to her "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall neer die. Do you believe this?" Martha so distraught hears Jesus' words and her faith stop sinking and begins to awaken. Can Jesus do what can't be done in this world? Can He bring my brother back to life from the dead? Jesus tells Martha to take Him to the tomb, and tells the men to roll the stone from the entrance. People gather to watch and then hear Jesus call out to the dead in the graves all around the world, but He calls out only one name. Jesus says "Lazarus, come forth." Jesus call him by name and death had to let go. So the people hear some sounds from the cave/tomb of Lazarus, and then there comes Lazarus. He is still wrapped in his death clothes like a mummy. Jesus commands that "he be loosed." Lazarus is alive and returned from the dead to his sisters. Martha is overjoyed for the return of her brother. There stands Jesus! Remember when Jesus told Martha "I am the resurrection and the life." Yes, He is!! And He proved it again a week later by His own death upon the Cross for our sins and His resurrection three days later. We sing "Up from the grave he arose." For when Jesus came out of His own tomb to the glory of God, He proved to them and us today. Jesus is alive! He is alive and all authority has been given to Him even over death.
Conclusion: Today - there is you. Today - there is death. Today there is Jesus! If you do not have Jesus in your heart and life through your surrender of self to Him, then you are the walking dead. Then there is Jesus, who proved He has been all authority even over death. So the question is - do you wish to remain dead in your present life and one day awaken to God's holy judgment alone? Or, do you cry out to the one who can make you alive now and for all eternity? The only one who can free you from you sin debt and set you free for all eternity? Jesus cried out to Lazaras to come from the dead unto a new life. Jesus is calling for you today - will you hear Him and let Him save you to a new life with Him for all eternity? No one can make this choice for you. Don't hesitate for you are not promised tomorrow. There is you - there is death - there is Jesus! What will you do?
What multitudes of prayers we have put up from the first moment when we learned to pray. Our first prayer was a prayer for ourselves; we asked that God would have mercy upon us, and blot out our sin. He heard us. But when he had blotted out our sins like a cloud, then we had more prayers for ourselves. We have had to pray for sanctifying grace, for constraining and restraining grace; we have been led to crave for a fresh assurance of faith, for the comfortable application of the promise, for deliverance in the hour of temptation, for help in the time of duty, and for succour in the day of trial. We have been compelled to go to God for our souls, as constant beggars asking for everything. Bear witness, children of God, you have never been able to get anything for your souls elsewhere. All the bread your soul has eaten has come down from heaven, and all the water of which it has drank has flowed from the living rock - Christ Jesus the Lord. Your soul has never grown rich in itself; it has always been a pensioner upon the daily bounty of God; and hence your prayers have ascended to heaven for a range of spiritual mercies all but infinite. Your wants were innumerable, and therefore the supplies have been infinitely great, and your prayers have been as varied as the mercies have been countless. Then have you not cause to say, "I love the Lord, because he hath heard the voice of my supplication"? For as your prayers have been many, so also have been God's answers to them. He has heard you in the day of trouble, has strengthened you, and helped you, even when you dishonoured him by trembling and doubting at the mercy-seat. Remember this, and let it fill your heart with gratitude to God, who has thus graciously heard your poor weak prayers. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."