Can you believe Easter is less than a week away? For those of you who have children, how will you be celebrating Holy Week with them? For those of you who don’t have children, what do you do to celebrate Holy Week?
For me, the past few weeks since the beginning of the Lenten season, have been one of first searching for and then finding comfort in Christ. During the month of March I looked at ways we can find our comfort in Jesus or the ways that He comforts us. Then I spent one week on joy before finally deciding to spend these last 2 weeks before Easter focused on Christ.
I have been taking you through the book of John, and we have been reading trying to answer 2 questions:
1) What does this book say about who Jesus is?
2) What does this book say about why Jesus came?
Today we will be reading John 11. (I was going to do 12 also, but got a little carried away with John 11.)
In these chapters, we see many of the things that John has been trying to teach us about who Jesus is. We see Him called the Christ and the Son of God. He calls Himself the light again.
But in these chapters, we are at the start of coming to the heart of who Jesus is and why He came.
The Passover is approaching, and the Pharisees and Sadducees are searching for reasons to arrest Jesus and to have Him killed.
Because of this Jesus was away from Jerusalem and while He was away, He received word that Lazarus was very ill.
Two days after He received word that Lazarus was ill. He then told the disciples that He was returning to Judea because Lazarus had died.
Now by the time that Jesus arrived in Bethany (the town where Lazarus lived) Lazarus had already been buried for 4 days.
Martha and Mary are surrounded by many of the Jews from the area, but when Martha hears that Jesus is coming she runs to meet Him. Have you ever noticed before that in way she was questioning why He hadn’t come sooner?
“Martha said to Jesus, ’Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.’” (John 11:22 ESV)
“Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’”
Jesus hadn’t let Lazarus die because He didn’t care. Lazarus died so that God could be glorified.
We have seen Jesus heal people from disabilities that they were born with and people who were on the edge of death, but here…here Jesus shows us that He not only has power over creation and that He has the ability to heal to disease and cast out demons, but that He has power over life and death.
Here is where we truly start to catch a glimpse of who He is.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”
Do get that? Here is Jesus telling Martha, “Hey, I’ve got this. I am the One who has power over life and death. I am the One who controls who lives and who dies, and I am the One who has the power to bring the dead back to life.”
“I am the resurrection and the life.”
And then He proved it by bringing Lazarus back from the dead.
I find this so powerful because no one other than Jesus is able to control life and death.
Although doctors try, they can’t control who lives and dies.
Although governments try, they can’t control who lives and dies.
Oh, both can kill you, but they can’t bring you back to life or give you life to start with.
Only Jesus can do that.