JESUS: THE RESURRECTION & THE LIFE! DO YOU BELIEVE THIS? - John 11


If we believe, Jesus is the resurrection and the life, we may have life through death.

Last week, Ross asked us a series of very powerful and challenging questions from his message on John 10. FOLLOW THE LEADER: JESUS THE GOOD SHEPHERD.

  • Do you belong to this Shepherd, Jesus? Who do you follow?

  • How well connected to Jesus are you? How well do you know him?

  • Is Jesus taking the lead- day by day?

  • The Good Shepherd leads with his voice- are you listening to Him? Are you hearing his voice through Scripture- instructing, guiding, encouraging, comforting, correcting?

The one question that Ross asked that particularly challenged me was…

  • What do we fear?

And today we are faced with a biblical account of people facing what is the ultimate fear for most. Death. But we also see Jesus casting a new perspective on death.

If we believe, Jesus is the resurrection and the life, we may have life through death.

THE GRIEF OF PHYSICAL SEPARATION

Lazarus is seriously ill, and his two sisters, Martha and Mary, call on Jesus with the hope that he would rush to Lazarus bedside and heal him.

Not a difficult to see why. Jesus had…

  • Healed a boy who was ill with a fever

  • Made a man walk who was an invalid.

  • Gave sight to a blind man

But Jesus, knowingly, takes his time getting there, and by the time he does, Lazarus has passed away.

And we get a picture of some of the roller coaster of emotions that I am sure many of you have experienced regarding death.

Blame

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:21

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:32

But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” John 11:37

Hope

“But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” John 11:22

Grief

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping… John 11:33

Death is the ultimate separation. We lose someone from our lives. Mourning is natural & death seems so final.

And into this situation Jesus steps.

Into this situation Jesus both speaks and acts.

THE GRIEF OF SPIRITUAL SEPARATION

And what does Jesus say…

This death is not due to illness but because God planned it. There was divine purpose in both Lazarus’ death and Jesus actions.

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” John 11:4

How can this be?

How can God plan for someone to die? That doesn’t sound like a God who is loving.

Throughout our learning in John we have seen repeatedly the phrase…

“…they did not understand…”

Into this melting pot of blame, hope and grief we see Jesus’ reaction.

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. John 11:33

Jesus wept. John 11:35

Jesus, once more deeply moved… John 11:38

He mourns. He is moved by their grief.

Jesus cried because of His great love for His friends. Jesus wept because He was overwhelmed with compassion for Mary and Martha. Jesus could feel the pain that Mary and Martha felt at that moment, and He shed real tears for them.

But even deeper still, he mourns over their lack of understanding. Over the extent of their spiritual separation.

Jesus mourns over more than just physical death, physical separation. He mourns over spiritual death, spiritual separation. Jesus is troubled because he knows and wants them to understand that the consequence of our sin nature is physical death, relational separation from God and ultimately an eternal separation from our Creator.

The Bible speaks about the extent of our death due to sin in several different ways.

  • PHYSICAL DEATH – Just as Adam and Eve were sent from the Garden of Eden and lost access to the tree of life, so we too are born to die physically. Our physical time in these bodies is limited. …when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.” Psalm 104:29 Physical death is a separation of a person’s spirit from their body.

  • RELATIONAL DEATH – We are born separated from God. We are no longer in relationship with God. We are relationally separated from our creator. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2 This is separation of a person’s spirit from God.

  • ETERNAL DEATH - Just as there is eternal life, so there is eternal death. This death is also called the second death. This second death is reserved for those people who will not be in Heaven. Instead, the Bible says they will go to the Lake of Fire, an appalling place that God created specifically for punishing Satan and his demons. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not