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In the scripture that Angela read this morning we heard the story of how one of Jesus best friends had passed away and Jesus broke the news to his disciples in John 11:14 Then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.” Well you can’t be much plainer then that can you? Christ didn’t say Lazarus is sleeping, he’s not resting, he’s not just sick. But he is gone, deceased, no longer with us, gone to be with the lord, expired. Lazarus is dead.
Now most of us aren’t that blunt when we talk about death.
Dead is a word that we don’t often use in today’s society, I had a summer job at the Sussex health center, and every once and a while you’d here an airline voice say "Code 10, room 115, code 10 room 115." Now if you worked there you knew that some one had died. Angela worked at the Kiwanis nursing home that same year and you’d think that with all those old people there that the occasional one would die. Uh-huh, not once what did happen is that “they expired.” That’s right expired, come on parking meters expire, drivers licenses expire, people die. With one exception, I will probably expire but it will only be because I forgot to mail in my renewal.
People die and that is exactly what happened to Lazarus, he died. But what is death what is dead, well glad you asked. Collins English dictionary death, dying, end of life, end, extinction, annihilation. But there has to be more to it then that.
Death is the last enemy: once we’ve got past that I think everything will be alright. Alice Thomas Ellis
Carl Warren, "it is given unto men once to die, after that the write-up." I think we all share the sentiments of the tombstone that Read "I expected this but not yet".
How you die is the most important thing you ever do. It’s the exit, the final scene of the glorious epic of your life. It’s the third act and, you know, everything builds up to the third act. Timothy Leary and Dying is something we human beings do continuously, not just at the end of our physical lives on this earth. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
The words, death, dead or dying are mention 1373 times in the Bible, I know because I counted them. And Jesus simply said Lazarus is dead. The question I need to ask today is this, are you dead?
You say, "don’t be foolish preacher, I aint dead." For the most part we understand that. We know that you aren’t physically dead. But are you spiritually dead? Are you walking this old earth alive in the body but dead in the spirit?
Lazarus was dead, the disciples said John 11:12 “Lord, if he is sleeping, that means he is getting better!” but he wasn’t sleeping he was dead. And so Lazarus provides for us an illustrative base from which to proceed with the analysis of the aforementioned inquiry into the metaphysical condition of your soul. That is to say Lazarus will be our example. Are you dead? Well the only way you can know for sure that you are not dead is to know that you are alive.
1) Lazarus had no appetite. When a man is dead, food no longer holds any interest for him. You can have filet mignon wrapped in bacon, stuffed mushroom caps, baked potatoes, sour cream and chives and fresh strawberries and cream and he won’t care. Dead
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