Summary: This is a sermon that deals with Death and the responsibility of us being prepaired for it.
Dead or Alive
John 11 10/31/2006
After church, Johnny tells his parents he has to go and talk to the minister right away. They agree and the pastor greets the family. "Pastor," Johnny says, "I heard you say today that our bodies came from the dust & when we die our bodies go back to dust.” "Yes, I’m glad you were listening. Why do you ask?"
Johnny says, "Well you better come over to our house right away and look under my bed ’cause there’s someone either commin’ or goin’!"...
Sometimes we may feel like that. We don’t know whether or not we are coming or going. The title of my message is “Dead or Alive”. Now for you Bon Jovi fans, we will not be singing the song this morning, but our topic will be one that all of us can relate too.
We all fall in one of the two choices, we are all either dead, or maybe you just have your eyes closed and our sleeping, or you are alive. And this morning we will look at one of the very few people who did just that. He was dead, and then he was made alive. And from that I want to make three points to remember.
We must all expect Death (Vs. 1-6)
Lazarus was sick. Now Lazarus was evidently a close friend of Jesus, “he whom You love is sick”. He was the brother of two of Jesus’ favorite woman, Mary and Martha.
Bethany was a small village on the slopes of Mount of Olives, about 2 miles from Jerusalem. We often read about Jesus going there and we read many times in the Bible that when we He did that He would spend time, and a meal or two at their house. It is safe to say that that they all are close.
But some would find it strange that when He received the word that His good friend was sick, that instead of dropping everything and running to healing His friend, He hangs out a couple more days where He is.
Now we know that He delayed for a reason that we are going to explore latter, but He wanted to make sure that Lazarus was dead, and I mean good and dead. And those around Him might have wondered why Jesus did not go to heal His good friend, but He explained to them that the sickness was not unto death. What we would think as “He is sick but he will live”. But as we read the words in verse 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead”.
Those are words that we all will have said about us sooner or latter. Dean Meadows is dead. I can remember my first experience with someone I know dying. A family with 5 kids of whom I was a friend and grew up with. Their father passed away. I was a senior in high school and so I thought I should go to the wake, but having not ever been to one, I was not sure how should act. My mom told me to be myself. For those of you who know me very well, being myself usually is not such a good idea.
So when I arrived at the funeral home the first person that I saw was the deceased’s daughter who was one year older than me; so I walked us to her (Being myself) and said, “Hey Donna, what are you doing here”. She went on to inform me that her father was the one in the casket over there. I felt like a heel.
But the first time that I heard the words of someone I loved being dead was in 1981 when I was at the beach for the first time without family. I returned to my motel room to see the light on my phone flashing and when I went to retrieve my message I was given those words that no one like to hear. Your Grandpa is dead. I was devastated and took the first plane I could home.
Those are words that we don’t like to hear. We even try to butter up those words with things like, they expired; sounds like something you read on some food item. Or they have passed on, or gone on, they deceased, but the truth of the matter is that they are dead.
But no one likes to hear those words. We don’t like to talk about it and most don’t even plan for it. They say that six out of ten people do not have a will. I am one of those six. And did you ever wonder why they call it Life insurance? Shouldn’t we call it death insurance because someone has to die before you collect it? And I am not even going to get into the question of why do we call it a wake?