1 Samuel 27:1-28:25; John 11:1-29; Psalms 116:6-14; Proverbs 24:27
NT: “Now a man was sick, Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha… So the sisters sent a message to him: “Lord, the one you love is sick.” When Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness will not end in death but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” …So when he heard that he was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he was. Then after that, he said to the disciples, “Let’s go to Judea again.” “Rabbi,” the disciples told him, “just now the Jews tried to stone you, and you’re going there again?” “Aren’t there twelve hours in a day?” Jesus answered. “If anyone walks during the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks during the night, he does stumble, because the light is not in him.” …When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days… As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, but Mary remained seated in the house. Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Yet even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” “Your brother will rise again,” Jesus told her. Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world.”” (John 11:1, 3-4, 6-10, 17, 20-27 CSB)
To the casual observer, Jesus’ response to the news of Lazarus’ sickness would have seemed uncaring. It appeared that Jesus brushed it off… He made some comment about the sickness not ending in death and then ignored it for two days. Then, oddly, two days later, Jesus said he needed to go back into the lion’s den of Judah to “wake up” His sick friend that He so casually brushed off two days earlier. But Jesus knew something that everyone else didn’t know. The Father had shown Jesus what He was going to do, and Jesus did everything the Father told Him to do to bring the greatest amount of glory to God. That took a lot of faith for Jesus: to know that Lazarus’ sickness would lead to death and to stand by and let Him die, knowing and believing that greater glory would be gained, not through healing, but by bringing Lazarus back from the dead. When Jesus’ disciples warned Him that it was too soon after an attempted stoning to go back to Judah, Jesus told them that He was on The Father’s time-table… He was moving in the light of God the Father’s will and would not be made to stumble… so He had no fear of what might be done to Him. His only concern was walking in obedience to The Father. Again… what great faith! When Jesus and His disciples finally arrived in Bethany, they found that Lazarus had been dead and buried for 4 days. Lazarus was not (as Miracle Max would say) “mostly dead.” Lazarus was completely dead and decay had begun to set in. Then Martha came up to Jesus and said what everyone was thinking: “If You had been here, Lazarus would still be alive…” She then made a statement of faith by saying, “Even-though my brother died, I still believe that God will do whatever You ask of Him.” I don’t know what was in Martha’s mind when she said that, but it doesn’t appear that she had resurrection in mind. When Jesus said, “Your brother will live again,” she replied that she believed in a bodily resurrection at the end of the age. Then Jesus gave his fifth “I AM” statement. Basically, He said, “You say you believe in the resurrection at the end of the age… well… I AM the resurrection that you believe in… I AM the life that makes that end-of-the-age resurrection possible. Abundant life now and eternal life in the future comes to those who place their faith in Me. Do you believe… do you place your faith in Me?” Jesus had complete faith in the Father and Who He was in God. Do we have complete faith in Christ and who we are in Christ? Are we willing to follow Jesus completely the way Jesus completely followed The Father? Are we willing to fully believe Christ’s words the way that Jesus completely believed The Father’s? If so, resurrection power and life – now and forever – is available to us.