Summary: A message on Jesus' statement, I Am the Resurrection, from the perspective of the dead stuff in our lives.
I Am the Resurrection
Scripture: John 11:17-43
We are continuing our series on the “I Am” statements that Jesus makes in the gospel of John. If I were to retitle the message this morning, I would likely have called it, “What stinks?!!” Because we’re going to approach this “I Am” statement from a little different perspective than the others we’ve looked at so far.
Many years ago, I worked in the purchasing department of a pickle company - Bicks Pickles. And as you know pickles come from cucumbers, and during what was called “fresh pack” all of the cucumbers for the whole year would come into the factory. Now cucumbers are kept in brine in big vats. And the brine has a particular smell to it. It’s not really a very pleasant smell, but the thing is, if you work there long enough, you get used to it and you never even notice it. But other people, who DIDN’T work there, would come for a visit, and they would often say - politely of course - “what’s that smell?” They really wanted to know “What stinks around here?”!!
Before I worked at Bicks Pickles, I worked at another food processor, called Peak Frean/Langely Harris. Going to work at Peak Freans was a totally different experience - because at Peak Frean’s I was the receptionist and switchboard operator, and when people would come to visit Peak Frean’s, they’d say things like, “I love coming here - it smells so good.” See Peak Frean/Langley Harris, made cookies. You could actually see people slow down as the drove by the facility just to enjoy the sweet aroma of those cookies in the oven.
Now we have, on occasion, some smells around here, in our community. If the wind is blowing just right. Whatever smells we have around here though, pale in comparison to Broken Bow where they have 130,000 head of cattle - now THAT’s a smell you just NEVER get used to!
Did you know that the neurons that trigger smell, go directly to our brain? Smell is not like taste and sight which first go to a relay center in the middle of our brain and then get sent out from there, smell goes directly to our brain and it can trigger fight or flight responses or make you drool over the taste you're about to enjoy.
Now, here’s the thing, MOST of us, don’t care for bad smells. While it’s true that what smells really nice for some of us, might smell really bad to someone else, most of us would likely agree that when something is dead, it stinks.
A. Dead stuff stinks. (like pickles)
And that brings us to our scripture reading for today - AND the message.
Look with me at verse 39, of our passage of scripture.
Jesus says, “Roll the stone aside,” and MARTHA, the story tells us, protested, saying, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”
Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory (what?) if you believe.”