August 24, 2020
It is the big question. If Jesus was (is) who He said He was, we should believe and follow Him. But, if He is not, Christianity is a mere hoax.
RAISING THE DEAD
God sent Christ to earth so we could see, and seeing, believe in Him. At every turn in the unfolding 33 years of Jesus’ life on earth we see the glory of God.
One moment in particular highlighted the power of God. Jesus’ friend, Lazarus had died. The grieving sisters—Mary and Martha—sent for Jesus before Lazarus died, knowing that He could heal their brother. So much is revealed about Christ in the next four days.
THE COMPASSION OF JESUS
“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11:5)
The love of God for us is intense and real. There is no question regarding how He feels about His own. He is always “moved with compassion” for those He loves.
THE TIMING OF JESUS
“So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was.” (vs. 6)
We would expect this verse to read differently. But Jesus knew what He was doing. God’s plan for Lazarus included a delay that would serve to greater magnify the reality of God. Lazarus had to die for this to happen. Many misunderstood Christ’s delay but this did not bother Him. He knew what He was doing. He always does.
THE FEARLESSNESS OF JESUS
The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?” 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.” (vs. 8-9)
Jesus’ disciples were very worried that Christ was walking right into persecution and even possible death. But Christ was never worried. He moved at the initiation of the Father. There was not an ounce of fear that anything would happen to Him before the proper time.
When you walk with Christ, this same peace sweeps over your soul. You know your life is in His hands which is the place of ultimate security. There is nothing to fear.
THE PURPOSE OF JESUS
But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” (vs. 4)
“Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe, but let us go to him.” (vs. 14-15)
Everything Jesus did was to bring us back to faith; back to dependence upon Him. As we believe, it glorifies the Father. It shows the world what an incredible God He is.
Our whole lives are designed to be lived in dependency upon God. And, as we trust Him, He proves His faithfulness and the world gets a right opinion of God. This is why Christ came and why we should live … to glorify God by helping others believe in Jesus.
THE SALVATION OF JESUS
“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (vs. 25-26)
There is salvation and eternal life nowhere else. Jesus states it plainly here—a truth that changes everything for us. And He calls Martha, and all of us, to believe in Him as the only source of salvation!
THE POWER OF JESUS
When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who died came forth.” (vs. 44)
Jesus can do anything. No natural law binds Him, no cultural norm restricts Him. He can raise the dead. He can give eternal life. This act with Lazarus was one more proof of the absolute power of God. What He promised, He did.
How can we, seeing Christ here, not fall before Him and believe?
Father, thank You for sending Christ to show us who You are. Thank You for Your perfect love, your perfect timing for us, Your salvation, Your power. Thank You that there is perfect peace as we walk with You. I pray my faith will increase more and more to show the world that You are God!
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September 24, 2020
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September 22, 2020
It is said of Martin Luther that he dreamed he was transported to heaven and there noticed thousands of boxes with his name on them. When he asked the angel what they were, the angel replied, “These are answers to prayers that have never been asked.”
God has much more for us. He reminds us that “we have not because we ask not” (James 4:2).