Summary: Jesus is on the way to a funeral. And He is late. At least in the minds of the mourners he is late. But His plan is always the best...
Jesus is on the way to a funeral. And He is late. At least in the minds of the mourners He is late.
I have a friend, colleague of mine, pastor Edy who is always late. He supposed to preach in my church and he showed up two minutes before the service. In my frustration I told him: "Man, you will be late to your own funeral". And he answered: "I hope so Ovidiu, you got the point."
John 11 - Jesus is late. At least in the minds of all who are there, working hard for the "success" of that funeral… He didn’t just miss the opening song… or the obituary. He missed the funeral. He is 4 days late and this is about the late as you can be to a funeral.
Think about - His friend is dead, buried, decomposing... That’s late. But now He appears and is a stirring in the crowd. It’s amazing, isn’t? There is always a stirring in the crowd when Jesus Christ appears. Even after 2000 years we still talk about Jesus Christ. And it is a stirring and excitement in the crowd… when He appears. Amazing, isn’t?
We still thinking, we still talking about, we still debating - about Jesus Christ.
In spite of secularism, humanism, determinism, atheism, we still talking about Jesus Christ. And… what He is doing? Is on the way to a funeral.
His life style impacts us. Yes. Evan after 2000 years meet Him in every conceivable spot on the earth, to honor Him, to respect Him, to reverence Him and to love Him. And to worship Him.
Jesus Christ is still the center of the whole Universe. Amen! Books in our libraries, arts adorning our galleries, rem of music of… all about Jesus Christ. Everywhere TV and radio stations talk about Him, sing about Him, honor Him 24 ours a day, seven days a week… I mean, somewhere in this world in this very moment He is honored, not only here… And what other figure in the history is so honored, so well-regarded? What other figure in the history is so acclaimed? I mean, forces of evil fought against Him for 2000 years but… He is unconquerable… And we are here together because of Him. We chose to come here, driving from distance, all different. We are here because of Jesus Christ. (Ron Halverson illustration)
And He is on His way to the grave, on His way to our tomb, to our personal crypt. Where are buried hatred, and wickedness, and prejudice… To awake in us to a new life, called the life of the believer. And to heal the deep wounds of our past memories. To heal the deep wounds of our past animosities and prejudices. To awake in us new life.
And you notice then in John 11: 33-35, 44 at what He says. Look at this passage and think about with me…
God is on His way. But no, He is already arrived. And the story grips us and this is why I love and I respect this book, the Bible, it’s real! It does not pull punches. I mean it does not create dreamy Hollywood scenarios. It’s real. It paints real people with flesh and bones and guts. No makeup, no special lighting, no touch-up jobs, no recorded laughter, sit-coms, with background music…. Di-da-da-da di-di…to modulate our emotions.
The Bible stories are real life. Real people - hurting people, and unhappy people, and desperate people .. It’s God stories about us - hard heading dramas about real world; is God wrenching stories about failure or successes in life, and leaving home and coming back home, and death and life.
I mean stories of laughter, stories of tears, but this story form John 11 gets right in our mind… Hemingway could not write it! Shakespeare could not write it! Jack London no… Only John could it write it. His pen is deep enough and red enough to give us a glimpse of the Calvary…
To my thinking this is the greatest story from the Bible, the story of raising Lazarus. It’s the story of raising a friend. Surly it push us over the incredible, sensational… I mean if it was done today, it would be in “Ripley’s Believe it or Not”… Or on some sit-coms on cable TV, reality TV… I mean, the exhibition of pathos and the power never before or after in history because nobody was seeing such thing happen – the raising of a dead.
Did you ever have a funeral and the dead rose up, back to life and his family, living happily ever after?...
Imagine the feelings of the family to see the love one rising. Can you see the face of Mary, the eyes of Martha and all the open mouths around down there? Can you picture this while Lazarus came out from the grave? Am sure some fainted. Perhaps I would it… if he was my brother. But yes, Lazarus is my brother from the Bible.