Summary: Tonight, we visit a graveyard to find out what spiritual truths we discover as Jesus calls Lazarus from the grave.
Lessons learned from a graveyard
Wed. Night October 21st 2009
There are many places in life you can learn some valuable lessons. As an athelete for most of my teen-age life, I learned some valuable lessons about hard work, working with other people to accomplish a job, and listening and respecting authority.
People have learned lessons about life in school, at work, and in relationships. Tonight we will learn some valuable spiritual truth from a very unlikely place.
Tonight, we visit a graveyard to find out what spiritual truths we discover as Jesus calls Lazarus from the grave.
Read Scriptures: John 11:30-44
I. I discover that Jesus has just as much authority in death as He does in life.
John 11:43-44 “When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
If Lazarus has been dead for four days, how could he hear anything? How can a dead man hear? He doesn’t have the power to hear. We all know that. So how does Lazarus come out of the grave when Jesus says “Come”?
So where does the power to call Lazarus from the grave come from? The only place is Jesus!
And what that shows me: is that Jesus, who I know has power over the living because of what He has done in my life, doesn’t lose his power if death enters the picture.
In other words, Jesus had power over Lazarus when he was living; and He had power over him when He died. Death didn’t change anything. Death didn’t diminish Jesus’ power in Lazarus’ life.
Paul would put it this way and that should give us comfort.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
II. I know that God moves my heart but I sometimes forget that I move the heart of God.
John 11:33-35 “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Where have you laid him?" he asked. "Come and see, Lord," they replied. Jesus wept.”
John 11:38-39 “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. Take away the stone," he said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
When I am preaching sometimes I experience an overwhelming sense of awe for what God has done for me and can not do anything but cry. I don’t want to cry in front of you but I have no choice because God has moved me.
I know that there are times that He has moved my heart to conviction. I know that there are times that he has moved my heart to search out truth.
But Lazarus reminds me that we also moved the heart of God. Jesus was moved by Mary crying. And then when Jesus gets to the gravesite, He is now moved even more deeply.
III. I am reminded that God has the power to do what He wants to accomplish without me but He chooses to use me.
John 11:39 “Take away the stone," he said…”
John 11:43 “When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!”
John 11:44 “The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
That is so interesting to me. Jesus called Lazarus from the grave but He asks for the people’s assistance to help move the stone and remove the grave clothes.
If Jesus can call Lazarus from the grave, couldn’t He demand that rock to move from in front of gravesite and it would have had to move?
If Jesus can call Lazarus from the grave, couldn’t He demand the grave clothes to fall off of him and they would have had to fall off of him?
What this reminds me is that God uses people in His work. Not because He has to but because He chooses to!
IV. Sometimes God allows a situation to go from bad to worse so that it is more apparent to you when He moves in to work.
John 11:32 “When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”