Summary: Illustrates the the power of Jesus to give life.
¡§I Am The Resurrection, And The Life¡¨
John 11:1-46 (17-27)
The time of Jesus¡¦ earthly ministry is winding down as he has been traveling and ministering to the people of Israel. Jesus has set His face toward Jerusalem (Luke 9:51), the miracle that we will be looking at today, is the most powerful to date. Even though we will not get into it today, this miracle, which should have proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to the Jews that this was their Messiah, it proved to be the one that sealed the death of Jesus (John 11:53).
I) Lazarus Gone
a) Shortly after they send for Jesus, Lazarus dies. Jesus is about 1 day journey from Bethany.
i) the man leaves to get Jesus
ii) the man arrives to tell Jesus
iii) Jesus waits 2 days
iv) Jesus travel to Bethany
b) Some views of what happens after death
i) Death „³ the end of all existence. You die, they put you in the ground, and your body simply breaks down to dirt, and you are no more.
ii) Reincarnation (Transmigration) „³ Upon death, your soul moves to another living being, and depending upon your actions in the previous life, you move up or down the hierarchy of the social scales, until you either reach total enlightenment, and become total spiritual energy, or you moved down until you become an inanimate object, such as a rock, or as Plato maintained, you wind up in Tartarus, the place of eternal damnation.
iii) Transformation „³ which in itself has many different views. They know that this human body dies, but after death:
1) The good people go to nirvana, or spiritual paradise, and the bad just simply cease to exist.
2) The good go to nirvana and the bad go to hell, or some place of punishment and:
„± They stay there forever. No redemption.
„± They stay there until they have adequately paid for all of their wrongs, then they will simply cease to exist.
„± They stay there until their debt is paid for, and then they are escorted into nirvana.
3) Everyone simply goes to heaven, because deep inside, everyone is essentially good.
iv) The Biblical View
1) Men are to die, then face judgment
„± Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
2) For the believer, heaven is our destination.
„± Luke 16:22-23 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom:
„± 2 Corinthians 5:8-9 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (9) Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
3) For the unbeliever, hell is the destination
„± Luke 16:22-23 ¡K the rich man also died, and was buried; (23) And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
„± 2 Peter 2:3-4 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. (4) For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
II) Disciples Go
a) Vs. 7 They knew the risk. They knew that the religious leaders were looking to stone Jesus. They couldn¡¦t believe that Jesus would want to go where they were looking to take His life.
b) Vs. 12 They misunderstood Jesus. They tried to persuade Jesus to stay where it was safe, by taking what He had just told them, and saying if he is sleeping and getting better, why do we need to go.
c) Vs. 16 They followed. Jesus clarified His statement about Lazarus death, and said we need to go. Thomas, even though we mainly just think of him as a doubter, here we see his commitment to follow Jesus, even if it meant his death. My beloved, all of the disciples met a martyr¡¦s death, except John, which his life was not easy. Are you, or would you be, willing to give your life for the cause of Jesus?
III) Mary and Martha Grieves
a) With the death of Lazarus, they grieved for the loss of their brother. Many of the folk from Jerusalem and Bethany had come to comfort the sisters in this time of death.
b) Vs. 21-22 When Martha heard that Jesus was close, she went to him. She had questions about what took him so long to come, however she believed that even at this point He might be able to still do something.
c) When Martha and Jesus finish talking, Martha goes to get Mary. Mary comes to Jesus with the same statement as Martha. Vs. 32