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

June 5, 2017

 

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 found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.
    Revelation 20:14-15

    Separation of a person’s spirit from God forever.

 

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.

 

Do you mourn over the spiritual separation you friends, family, colleagues that don’t know Jesus are in?

Does it move you to action?

 

POWER OVER DEATH

But again, as we have seen through our learning in John, Jesus is the solution. Jesus has power over death.

 

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” John 11:25-26

 

Jesus has the power over death. He is able to resurrect, raise the dead.

 

Jesus has power over physical death.

He can raise the physically dead.

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” John 11:38-44

 

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. He was physically dead. Starting to stink even. And Jesus raised him from the dead. Jesus has power over physical death.

 

Jesus has power over relational death.

He can raise the relationally dead.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…” John 10:14

 

When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. John 10:4

 

Jesus brings us back into relationship with God. We are born relationally separated from God. Relationally dead. But Jesus the shepherd raises us up back into relationship with God. Jesus has power over relational death.

 

Jesus has power over eternal death.

He can raise the eternally dead.

“…and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” John 11:26

And this has been a repeated theme throughout our learning in John.

Jesus brings us back into eternal relationship with God. We are not condemned to hell but rather Jesus raises us up back into an eternity with God. Jesus us power over eternal death.

 

Jesus has the power over death. He is able to resurrect, raise the dead.

 

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” John 11:25-26

 

Have you experienced Jesus’ resurrection work in your life?

 

Have you been raised spiritually?

 

And how does all this happen.

 

LIFE THROUGH DEATH

We have resurrection and life through Jesus death and life.

 

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” John 11:25-26

 

Through Jesus physical death and resurrection, for those who believe, we receive relational life.

 

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:6-15

 

Paul goes on to say…

 

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

 

We have resurrection and life through Jesus death and life.

 

We have this life daily. Eternally.

 

Through Jesus Christ death, burial and resurrection.

 

And our part?

 

Jesus makes this clear by asking one question…

 

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

 

Do you believe?

 

The disciples believed in Jesus.

And yet they questioned the logic of Jesus travelling to Judea where he faced possible death.

So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” John 11:14-15

Obviously the faith of the disciples need to continue to grow.

 

 

Martha believed.

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:27

And later she questioned Jesus as to why they would roll the stone away. Lazarus was dead.

 

Many believed.

Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. John 11:45

And yet many of these same people would turn and be yelling crucify him.

 

Even those that believe have a great deal more to learn about Jesus.

 

We who believe have a great deal more to learn about Jesus.

 

Do you believe?

 

Are you growing in your belief?

 

Do you go into each day believing, knowing and experiencing that you are saved by Jesus who is the resurrection and the life?

 

Do you go into each day believing, knowing and experiencing that you indwelt by the God who is the resurrection and the life?

 

Do you go into each day believing, knowing and experiencing life? Life in Christ?

 

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

 

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

 

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