1. Hello, listening friends.
2. Welcome to the very last broadcast from the series of messages from the gospel of John
3. We have been studying together the seven signs or miracles from the gospel of John.
4. I promised you in our last broadcast, that I would talk to you about the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
5. I told you that we are going to hear some great encouragements from this miracle.
6. So, let us examine these events in detail.
7. Religious leaders in and around Jerusalem had threatened to stone Jesus to death... if He ever came back to their territory.
8. Bethany, where Lazarus and his sisters lived, was less than 2 miles away from Jerusalem.
9. And a word comes to Jesus from Mary and Martha, Your friend Lazarus, whom you love is seriously ill.
10. They like us, when we pray urgently and fervently for something... wanted Jesus to answer immediately.
11. Mary and Martha thought Jesus would drop everything and come to Bethany.
12. He could have done that but He didn't.
13. Was he heartless?
14. Did He forget?
15. Was He preoccupied?
16. None of that is true.
17. Look at v. 5&6 of John 11
18. There is something very significant here.
19. "Now, Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus... so he stayed 2 days longer."
20. You might say, “Wait a minute!”
21. Did you say; because He loved them, He did not respond immediately?
22. That's right!
23. That is what the Bible said!
24. In fact, you may notice that... the two sisters didn't even request that Jesus should come.
25. They were confident that the moment Jesus got the word that Lazarus was seriously ill... He would immediately come to Bethany.
26. But my listening friends, it didn't work that way.
27. It often doesn't work that way.
28. Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.
29. They were His special friends.
30. So, He stayed where He was for two more days.
31. My listening friends listen carefully please.
32. It is the purpose of God... and not the immediacy of your need that matters the most.
33. It is the glory of God... and not our self-centered requests that matter the most.
34. It is the kingdom of God... and not our kingdom that matters the most.
35. Because He loved them... He waited 2 more days.
36. There is always a purpose in God’s delay.
37. I can imagine the sisters... how they spent their time immediately prior to Lazarus death.
38. They were alternating between caring for their sick brother... and looking down the road to see if The Master was coming.
39. Unto their utter bewilderment, Jesus did not come... and Lazarus died.
40. Jesus told the disciples that Lazarus had died and that they should go to him.
41. Pessimist Thomas, realizing that going anywhere near Jerusalem spells trouble for them,...
42. Said in a typical fashion:
43. That's it...we are going to die, it's all over men.
44. But listen to Jesus' response:
45. Are there not 12 hours in the day?
46. If the man walks in the day he does not stumble because he sees the light of this world.
47. What does that mean?
48. It means that Jesus is telling His disciples, that yes, we are going back to the region of Judea.
49. But, you don't need to be afraid.
50. There will be no stumbling.
51. There will be no accidents.
52. Hostility cannot touch me until my hour has come.
53. I am walking in the light and not in darkness.
54. No one can lay a finger on me until my hour has come.
55. So by the time they reach Bethany Lazarus had been dead for 4 days.
56. His body was beginning to decompose.
57. In those days the ritual of mourning peaked on the 3rd day.
58. So, by the 4th day, they were totally exhausted from crying and weeping and wailing.
59. And true to form, that is exactly when Jesus comes in.
60. He comes in when they had totally and utterly exhausted themselves.
61. Martha gets the word that Jesus is coming.
62. So she tosses out the cultural practice of staying home for 40 days after the funeral and runs down the street to meet Jesus.
63. Mary obeys the cultural mores of that day and stays home.
64. As soon as she sees Jesus, she blurts out the words of disappointment.
65. She blurts out words of anguish and of hopelessness.
66. You can feel the sting, can you not?
67. She said, "Had you been here... Lazarus would still be alive."
68. But Jesus teaches her that He is the life and the resurrection.
69. Jesus teaches her that for those who put their trust in Him:
70. Death is not the last word.
71. Death does not have the final say.
72. Death is not the end.
73. Because my listening friends, Jesus is the only one who defeated death.
74. In Jesus... death has been conquered.
75. In Jesus, the jaws of death have been broken and the teeth have fallen out.
76. In Jesus, the power of death has been demolished.
77. A funeral of a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ should be a celebration.
78. Never do I see death to the believer as the master.
79. Death, for the believer is the servant that carries us home.
80. Death, to the believer is only the gatekeeper that opens the gate for the king's guest.
81. I want to point out to you three things before my time runs out.
82. First, in verse 33 Jesus groans in His spirit
83. 33..., he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
84. In Greek, this is an awesome word. It almost is untranslatable.
85. The closest we can get to it in English would be this. "He snorted with anger like a horse."
86. It expresses a violent displeasure.
87. It expresses the notion of indignation.
88. I am convinced that the reason for His anger and indignation... is the root cause of death that is, sin itself.
89. James said, in James 1:15: "When lust has conceived, it brings forth sin, and when sin is finished, brings forth death."
90. Romans 6:23 says; "That the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
91. That is why only those whose sins are forgiven will have eternal life.
92. Hell, which is eternal death awaits all those who reject Jesus Christ.
93. Hell, which is eternal death awaits all those who refuse to come to Jesus Christ.
94. Someone said that there are 7 simple facts that everyone ought to know about sin;
95. Sin earns wages.
96. Sin pays wages.
97. Sin insists on paying.
98. Sin pays wages in kind.
99. Sin pays in installments.
100. Sin pays in full.
101. Unless the blood of Christ washes away the stain.
102. Finally, sin is self-executive it pays its own bills.
103. The logical result of sin is death.
104. Death to the body, death to the mind, death to the soul.
105. That is why Jesus snorted at death.
106. The second thing I want to point out to you about this miracle is in v.39.
107. Jesus asked them to remove the stone.
108. You would think that the One who raised the dead could, with a click of his finger remove the stone.
109. But He didn't.
110. Instead, he asked those who were alive, standing there, to do it.
111. That is why we Christians are responsible to tell others about Christ.
112. Because, before God can call out those who are dead in trespasses and sin,
113. He asks those who are spiritually alive to roll away the stone.
114. Every one of us can play a role in rolling away the stone.
115. No matter how big or how small it may be.
116. Some pray.
117. Some give.
118. Some evangelize.
119. Some witness.
120. Some welcome people.
121. Some extend hospitality.
122. Whatever our role is in rolling away the spiritual stones that is what Jesus is asking us to do.
123. The third point in this miracle that I want you to look at is in v.44.
124. After He called out Lazarus by name and Lazarus comes out of the grave, Jesus said, "Loose him and let him go."
125. Someone once said that it was just as well Jesus mentioned Lazarus by name.
126. Had he just said “come out,”
127. Every dead corpse would have walked out of the tomb.
128. Jesus said, "Loose him and let him go."
129. Now I want you to imagine Lazarus stumbling out of the grave.
130. Because of the Jewish custom of wrapping the body before they bury it, Lazarus could not easily walk.
131. Here he is, his heart has just begun to pump again.
132. His arteries have just begun to pulsate once more.
133. His muscles have begun to move again.
134. So, he shuffles out of the tomb, bound hand and foot.
135. And Jesus said, "Loose him and let him go."
136. This is not unlike what happens to us spiritually...
137. When the Holy Spirit of God quickens our spirit and we are converted to Christ.
138. In the beginning of our Christian life, we are still walking around with grave clothes that are hampering us in our Christian walk.
139. There are those sins from your past.
140. There are all those habits from your life without Christ.
141. All these things are hampering your growth in your Christian walk.
142. There is a napkin on your face that is blocking your view.
143. There are grave clothes that have your hands bound so you can't work effectively.
144. There are bandages that are binding your feet so you can't walk well.
145. Jesus' word to us today is "Be loosed in Jesus name."
146. Some people have asked the following question.
147. Is the raising of Lazarus from the dead the same as the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ himself?
148. The answer is NO!
149. In the raising of the son of the Widow of Nain,...
150. In the raising of the daughter of Jairus,...
151. And in the raising of Lazarus,...
152. Jesus demonstrated his power over death and the grave.
153. While Jesus raised them from the dead, they all died again.
154. But Jesus' own resurrection was more than just demonstrating His power.
155. Jesus' resurrection was the complete defeat of death.
156. It was the complete destruction of the power of death.
157. He rose never to die again.
158. It is the utter devastation to the sting of death.
159. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is God's assurance to every one of us who believe,...
160. That we, too, will be resurrected.
161. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is God's promise to us, who love him,...
162. That we, too, will not experience eternal death.
163. Do you have that assurance?
164. Well you can be assured of this today.
165. When you surrender your life to the Lord Jesus Christ
166. When you accept His resurrection to be for you
167. Until next time I wish you God’s riches blessing