Summary: Lazarus is a picture of us as believers in Christ.
You guys have heard me say many times the reason we love to gather in here is because it allows us to remember the greatness of the God we want to serve all week long and how what we're doing right now is a corporate celebration, a corporate encouragement and exhortation, but worship is what we do with our lives all week long.
I would encourage you to not pray about worshiping. I would encourage you to know the way we use our gifts is an appropriate response to what he has done for us. The way we gather in the body and the way we hang with the flock our Shepherd has called us to be a part of is not something I would encourage you to pray about.
Where you do that? Pray about that. One of the ways you can pray about things responsibly is you expose yourself to how things are. That's the purpose of Connecting Point next week. By coming out, it doesn't mean you're joining. It just means you're going to move toward in obedience what worshipers move toward.
Using your gifts and serving the community… Not even using your gifts but doing the things you have to do to help others use their gifts is not something I would encourage you to pray about. I would encourage you just to do. So file that in complement to what Gary just said and let's not have to keep on reminding ourselves there's a chance for us to continue to serve one another or to belong in the way God says we should belong.
It's a perfect segue to what I want to look at this week. I feel like we've been racing way too quickly through John, so I want to slow down a little bit here. I'm going to take a whole week just to look at a guy named Lazarus. We really have already spent three or four weeks in and around Lazarus, but I'll tell you what I'm going to do.
I'm going to teach you a little bit about what is called typology. Typology is just an illustration. It's a picture. It's a foreshadowing. It's a pencil sketch of that which is ultimately to come. Whenever there is a great work that is commissioned, there is typically a draft that is put out, or there is some precursor to the actual thing as it's created.
The actual thing is called the antitype, but there are many types in Scripture. For most of them, Christ is the antitype, which means Christ is the fulfillment of what has long been anticipated. Let me give you an example. We made a movie here called Seasons of Gray, which has not been filed away forever.
We're not keeping it from you. We're working with a company right now to allow it to get some broader distribution nationally before it goes to DVD. That whole thing continues to be exciting. When you think of Joseph, keep praying about that. That should happen here. It takes a long time to get those processes all set up and have the right partnership.
Joseph is a type of Christ. See if this story sounds familiar. A beloved son who is robed in glory is hated by his brothers who betray him and leave him for dead, thinking they had done away with this one who is a nuisance to them, only to find out he has been preserved by God in a unique way and elevated to a place of honor and privilege where he is now in a position where he can offer to them the means of life they so desperately need.
When they go to him and expect to be crushed and judged because of their rejection of him, they find he is gracious and gentle, willing to forgive them, saying, "Even what they intended for evil is what God in his sovereignty has redeemed for good." They fall before him, and they recognize him, and they acknowledge him for who he is, a source of blessing from God, and they are given life. Does that story sound familiar? That's called a type.
How about David? He is a king after God's own heart who, because there is rebellion in the land, sees how trouble has befallen the city of which he is the king of, ultimately because he doesn't want to see death and harm befall the people, he is willing to leave his rightful place of reign and go outside the camp and suffer until such a time as God restores him to his rightful throne. There's a reason Jesus suffered outside the gates of Jerusalem. David is a type of Christ.
Samson. Out of bitter comes something sweet, one who is a deliverer of his people. In the midst of his enemies at a time of great suffering, he takes his dependence on the Father, and when he is being mocked by his enemies, he puts his arms on the pillars, and he prays, "God, out of this bitter moment would you bring deliverance for your people, something sweet?" And he dies. Death befalls him, but life comes to the nation. That's a type.