Summary: Facing death is dificult, but Jesus helps us face death with confidecne by having an eteranl perspective. this is the second in a series questions Jesus asked
Introduction: By all standards, death is the most dreaded event. Our society will pay any price to prolong life. Just one more month, or even another day;
Someone has said in our early years we will spend our health to get wealth, but in our later years we spend our wealth to keep our health.
Ben Franklin said, “Nothing is certain in life but death and taxes”
For each of us death must be viewed in the context of eternity.
That is the jest of the question Jesus asks of today.
• Jesus has received word Lazarus is sick
• John 11:6 tells us of the special relationship Jesus had with Lazarus and his sisters – HE LOVED THEM
• Jesus waits another 2 days and then heads to Bethany
• Upon arriving in Bethany Jesus and his disciples discover that Lazarus has died.
READ TEXT – JOHN 11:17-26
On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. "Lord," Martha said to Jesus, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." Martha answered, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
In this passage we learn 3 important truths about an eternal perspective.
1. Death is a natural part of Life
A. Since sin entered the world death has been part of the curse of man.
Gen 3:17-19, To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ’You must not eat of it,’ "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."
B. The psalmist saw death as a part of life’s cycle, giving the example of our lives are like new grass in the morning, but by the end of the day it has withered. Ps 90:5-6
C. James described our life as a vapor – here today and gone tomorrow.
D. Saint Augustine – “Nothing is so certain as death, and nothing is so uncertain as the hour of death.”
E. Now while death is common to all men have you noticed the lengths we go to avoid death.
• Woody Allen – I’m not afraid to die. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.
• Have you noticed the euphemisms we use?
We frivolously say…
Kicked the bucket… Bought the farm… Pushing up daisies
Or we delicately say
They are dearly departed… Passed on… Gone home
In our text today Jesus spoke of Lazarus’s death as he has gone to sleep
• Not only do we have other names for death we have discovered a science to avoid death all together – Cryogenics, the process of freezing ones remains and reviving them at a later date – is big business. For a cost ranging between 100K and 150K you can be prepared for life at a later date. If the price is too steep – fear not, the Cryonic Institute located in a suburb of Detroit Michigan will place you in a state of cryostasis for $35,000, $28,000 if you are a member of the institute. It seems that the Cryonic Institute in Michigan is the “Wal-mart” of Cryogenics!
F. While society may not be comfortable with the idea of death we must admit death is a part of the natural process of life. Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 7:2, It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart.
G. The Hebrew Writer wrote, And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27
2. Death must be viewed with an eternal perspective
A. Death is not the end of one’s life – Life is not just accumulation of time, 70+ years and then it is over.