Have you ever been in a situation that felt so dark and heavy, where there was little or no hope?
For me, I just returned from overseas and some of the situations I saw with my own eyes felt hopeless. I sat across from brothers and sisters in Christ, praying for God to move because we all knew that if God didn’t intervene, their situation was dire. And yet, I also witnessed their hope and I heard their testimonies of how they’d seen God move in miraculous ways. They had story after story of how God spoke light into darkness. In the middle of their grief, their belief that God was our resurrection and life held strong.
Our passage today takes us to a family in the middle of grief and despair. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were friends whom Jesus loved dearly. But the situation was bleak. Lazarus was sick and Mary and Martha knew that Jesus had the power to heal their brother, and without Him, Lazarus would most likely die.
Mary and Martha sent for Jesus, asking Him to come quickly. Yet, despite His love for Lazarus, He didn’t leave right away. He stayed at His current location for two additional days.
And Lazarus died.
Grief was heavy at their house when Jesus arrived. Can you imagine knowing that relief could come if Jesus had come sooner? And yet the miracle walked in too late?
From the moment Jesus first heard about Lazarus’s illness, He promised, “This sickness will not lead to death, but to God’s glory so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4).
To Mary and Martha, although they believed that Jesus had the power to heal, it seemed inconceivable that He had the power to bring life from death.
And yet all God’s promises are true. Jesus would be true to His promise at the beginning of the chapter.
Jesus was talking to Martha and said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, and the one who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
She replied, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who comes into the world” (John 11:27).
After this, Jesus wept. And then He went to the tomb where Lazarus’s dead body lay, and He kept His promise. Lazarus walked out of that tomb.
He was resurrected from death to life.
And just like Jesus promised, through Lazarus’s death and resurrection, God was glorified. The same is true for you and me. Those of us who are in Christ are resurrected to new life for the glory of God (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12).
The miracle of Lazarus’s death isn’t just that a man who was formerly dead walked again; it’s that, because Jesus is the Messiah, all of those who were formerly dead in sin can come alive in Christ.
These signs and miracles throughout the book of John are pointing us to answer a question that can’t be ignored: Who is this Jesus?
Well in this passage we learn that Jesus is the Messiah who is the resurrection and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him.
So what does this have to do with you?
If Jesus is who Martha said He is, then no matter what you face, you can cling to Jesus who has known earthly pain and sorrow and promised to one day make all things new. He is our Resurrection and Life, and for those of us who are in Him, we take comfort in knowing that, regardless of the suffering that comes our way, we serve a God who is in the business of bringing light to darkness and resurrecting the dead to life.
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Join us this season as we dive into the Gospel of John. As we prepare our hearts for Easter and the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, we’ll study who Jesus is and the impact of His ministry. Through this study we’ll discover that Jesus is the Son of God and the only way to eternal life!
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