Summary: Who would give their life for someone who is already dead?
Dying, For the Dead
Text: John 11:34
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
Why ask this question? He knew exactly were Lazarus lay, for he was God. He came looking for the dead, that He might resurrect Him!!!
The stories abound about people who risk their lives to save others. The individual who risks his life will oftentimes lose his own while attempting to save another. A better fitting benediction could not be made for those who place their own lives in peril for others, and yet lose their own, than to call it uncommon valor. As uncommon as this valor may be, it is not near as uncommon than one who gives his life for those who are presently dead. I can think of no reference in history of any culture which sacrificed to its ancestors or made atonement by the blood of a living person for the sins of a deceased. To die for the dead is an absurdity and not something that many will readily perform. Yet this is precisely what Jesus did on Calvary’s cross.
Allow me to illustrate:
First we must have an understanding of who is dead and in need of a resurrection.
2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners (dead), Christ died for us.
This verse demonstrates that Jesus came to die for those who were dead. I am speaking of spiritual death not physical. Those who are in sin are dead already and must be resurrected.
All sinners are dead!!
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
I. All sinners are dead because they are sick
They are sick in their sin and because they are in sin they are dead to life in Christ. They are in need of resurrection. Jesus came to call them out of their tombs of sin and live in newness of life with Him. Sinners are sick and in dire need for a call to repentance.
12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.
32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
II. Sinners like lepers need cleansing from their sin: Matt.10:8 "cleanse the leapers"
Jesus came to shed His blood for the remission of sin. To cleanse us from all sin. Just as He healed the leapers He has healed us from the pain of sin and made us whole.
III. Sinners must be raised from the dead: Jesus came seeking the dead to impart spiritual life and vitality that would be everlasting.
In order for the dead to be raised an atonement had to be made. Someone had to die for the dead!! That someone was Jesus Christ. He came seeking those who were dead that He might resurrect them to everlasting life. Jesus hanging on the cross was dying for the dead, that the dead may have everlasting life with him.
Now I call that Very Uncommon Valor! I have yet to study in any history of any individual who chose to die that someone who was dead might live. Only Jesus has done this.