1. When we do not understand, it is wise to defer to God's larger perspective and plan.
· We see here the disconnect between God's intention and Martha's limited perspective.
· It is a matter of timing and perspective
6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.
Jesus had waited
· "God often delays His response but He is never late." Swindoll
· His response is calibrated to His eternal best, not to our sense of urgency.
We often focus on our immediate welfare and temporary good. Though we may not understand it, God has a better eternal plan.
4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
· Both Martha and Mary greeted Jesus with the words, "Lord, if You had…"
· Take your "if only's" to the Lord and trust in his better plan.
2. We must all face the reality of death.
—Our death is the result of sin.
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned--
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
—Christ's death is the solution for sin.
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
—A repentant faith is how we receive the gift of eternal life.
John 11:26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
This is not about playing word games.
It is about a change of heart.
Have your turned to God in repentant faith?
3. Christ's great confession should be ours.
· I AM
13 Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?”
14 And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
This is one of the seven I AM's that John records as evidence of Christ's absolute deity.
Jesus gave a temporary sign to show that he was who he said he was. He eventually died again.
43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
Jesus' own resurrection is the pattern for ours.
I Corinthians 15
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
"Someday you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody of East Northfield, Massachusetts is dead. Don't you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now; I shall have gone up higher, that is all; out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal, fashioned like unto His glorious body." —D. L. Moody
TE: It is easy to trust in some distant abstract thought, but Jesus' life is for the here and now.
Note that Jesus did not say that He gave life or was the source of life. He was life.
To know Him is to have life.
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
"It is not future events but the Person of the Lord, ever present with us, that we need most to be occupied with." —Pink