The Raising of Lazarus: 19 February 2015

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John 11:14-16 14 So then he told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’

Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Lazarus was dead. Jerusalem was looming large as a city of death and terror where Jesus’ disciples must enter at their own risk. Jesus knew this would be his final visit to the city. He knew he was going there to die. But he also knew that God was about to keep his appointment with human redemption. The disciples took a stand to follow Jesus, regardless of the cost.  Thomas spoke openly of the danger of this trip. He seemed to know that Calvary is not something Jesus did for us so much as it is something he does with us.

Crosses cost. Each of us must take up our cross and follow him, knowing that the cross invites us to a fellowship of suffering. For what Christ knew, they only suspected. He knew he was the incarnate Son of God. He knew the price he would pay: his life. He also knew the glorious end of the whole drama would be his resurrection. Now just weeks before he died, Lazarus was dead.

Dead? Yes, but not for long. What Christ the Saviour had in mind would astound the city of Jerusalem. He was about to give the world a close-up look at his power over life and death. Lazarus would live again.

Death is not forever.

Lord, may my own confidence in your power of resurrection grow. I want to thank you that I too will one day find my own tomb torn apart, I too shall some day know in my triumph over death. May I be willing to follow you with glorious abandon, knowing that nothing is more important than being counted among your friends.