Summary: This sermon looks at the certainty of death and its effects and asks the question do you believe in the resurrection?
Life after death, do you believe it? John 11: 17 -11:46
The 100 million dollar question that is often asked is there life after death? A whole host of answers are proposed from reincarnation to resurrection.
Abraham Lincoln said “Surely God would not have created such a being as man to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality. Others think when you’re dead your dead.
Atheist Bertrand Russell said, “Death is a night of nothingness.” Some people don’t even want to consider it like Woody Allan said, “I don’t fear death I just don’t want to be around when it happens. “What is the real answer to this question... is there life after death?
People often talk about near death experiences where they find themselves in a dark tunnel approaching a marvellous light. Many medical experts will debunk and explain these near death experiences as mere neurological actions of the brain and body as its systems begin to shut down approaching death, then suddenly restarting a bit like rebooting a computer.
“I personally believe we all have near death experiences because life itself is a near death experience!”
Yet others will say we will never know because nobody has ever come back from the dead to tell us? I want to rebuff that statement: John 11:25. I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
The important question Jesus asks, I put to you all tonight... "Do you believe it?" I think one of the most poignant times in our lives when people truly begin to address the question of life and death issues is at those times of loss, suffering and grief when those we love have gone, the grief is often twofold: Yes we grieve for the one we have lost and loved but also I believe we grieve over the fact that the same fate awaits us all.
Video section ; The questions raised between two brothers.
set the scene: The funeral @ Bethany
Jesus had been preaching in the villages beyond the Jordan, when he received news of the sickness of his friend Lazarus v3 in reply Jesus made an amazing statement in v4 Jesus did not leave straight away, he waited two days before returning to Judea v6. Jesus knew Lazarus would be dead when he arrived, in order to bring glory to God and for the Son to be glorified. As he would demonstrate His power over death.
Jesus arrives while the family is still in mourning, over the death of Lazarus, Mary and Martha had family and friends alongside to comfort them v19. They believed that if Jesus had been their during his sickness, Jesus could have saved Him. (Miracles had been done) v22 as far as they were concerned Jesus had missed the opportunity to save him and four days had passed and the body had started to decompose. Their hope had diminished, but is death really the end? Has all hope been lost? The answer of course is No.......
Yet death is certain, yet here in Jesus we see a person who does care, a person who is not distant and removed from our grief, one who wept v35 as he sees the grief death imprints on the human soul, he was deeply moved and troubled v33 with the whole affair of death. Because death was never meant to be for humanity... He weeps over the damage it causes in this world and in the case here for the family of Lazarus.