#5 August 2, 2005
"Lazarus, come forth!" John 11:43
Take a few minutes and read your Bible's account of the death and raising of Lazarus in Luke, Chapter 11, verses 1-44.
Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that the one He loved was sick (v. 3). In actuality, Lazarus was probably already dead by the time these conversations with His disciples took place.
What seems dead in your life? Is it a marriage, an unsaved and wayward child, a failing business, a broken relationship, crushed finances? Is it a past that has beat you down and killed your self-esteem and sense of worth?
The Bible says that when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where He was two more days (v. 6). Allowing a day for the messenger's travel, two days of waiting by Jesus, and one day for His return, we arrive at four days before Jesus gets to Bethany, near Jerusalem.
How long have you been waiting for Jesus to arrive? How long have you been saying to yourself, "if He had only been here..?" (v.21) Maybe a few days sooner and your husband wouldn't have left. Just a couple of days earlier and the money would've come in. Just one more attempt with your son, and he would've come around. If only....if only.,.He had been there.
But Jesus waited. He waited for God's glory so that He would be glorified through it. (v. 4) God's glory is His main objective. And He wants it to be ours. God's will for us is to bring Him glory. Our purpose is giving Him glory. We don't need programs and agendas to know our purpose..it's living to give Him glory! If Jesus had come when Lazarus was ill, the higher goal associated with the glory of God would not be revealed. A resurrection would demonstrate that glory and divine power more fully than restoration from a sick bed. Jesus was glad He hadn't been there! One of the greatest lessons of faith to be learned would've been impossible!
Busy Martha ran out to meet Jesus when He arrived. Mary sat still. When she heard that Jesus was there, in reverence and helplessness, she fell at His feet. Are you running or laying at His feet in your situation? Are you Mary or Martha? Have you emptied yourself so much that you know that only Jesus can do something? Are you helpless, hopeless, bankrupt of self enough to know it's all about Him? Again, that's what He wants from you..He loves that attitude!
He is not being cruel. He hasn't turned His face from you. He doesn't enjoy watching you suffer. Verse 35 tells us that "Jesus wept." It is likely that He wept over the havoc that sin has brought into the world bringing along with it, sickness and death and sorrow. But I like to believe that Jesus weeps for me as well. I know He feels my pain, sees my hurt and heals every hurt that I have. He wants to strengthen me and watch me believe what He says and then He can show me the Glory of God!!
Four days elapsed...the body began to decompose...the odor must have been foul! The hold of death was broken by the voice of authority calling, "Lazarus, come forth!" The One who had proved Himself the Light of the world by giving sight to the blind man now showed Himself as the Life of men, the Overcomer of death.
Think again about what your "Lazarus" might be. Jesus calls it forth...
Broken marriage --- Come forth!
Unsaved child --- Come forth!
Sickness and disease --- Come forth!
Broken finances --- Come forth!
Hurtful past --- Come forth!
Drug addiction, Alcoholism --- Come forth!
Hear Jesus whispering in your ear, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
Whatever you're facing today, the end result will be so that God's Son will be glorified through it. The grave clothes will come off, really they will...
Until next week,
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