Summary: God is in control even when it doesn’t feel like it.

Sermon: Lord, if you had been here! John 11 March 10, 2001

I. Introduction

A. You know it’s going to be a bad day when:

1. you get pulled over and you haven’t even left your driveway

2. your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles

3. you call your answering service and they tell you it’s none of your business who called

4. the blind date you had anxiously been awaiting turns out to be your older sister.

5. you wake up to discover that your waterbed broke and then you remember you don’t have a waterbed.

6. and one appropriate for our time - you know its going to be a ad day when your income tax check bounces

B. Funny because the of reality of it all

1. too close to real

2. we understand

3. we are thankful it isn’t us

4. Bad days are a reality of life

5. they come without notice or effort - real days when

a) when bills push you in bankruptcy

b) when home no longer is a place of sanctuary but a battlefield

c) when death looms over your family

d) when separation and divorce shatter the lives of a man woman

e) illness, unexplained losses and disappointments fracture the very essence of who we are

6. and the laughter of a bad day turns to pain

7. we wonder how could God have let this happen

a) where was God

b) if he had only been here

II. Today’s Scripture

A. we find even

1. when Jesus was present on this earth

2. when Jesus had already physical time and time again had demonstrated the power and authority God - when he had already proven he could give life to the dead

3. some of his disciples - some of those who loved him -- are left hurting, weeping and crying out

a) Lord, if you had been here!


B. This mornings lesson comes from the Gospel of John Chapter 12:1

1. Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha

a) Jesus Knew this family

(1) knew them well

(2) may recall that Jesus had dinner with them in their home and would again

(a) Mary had poured perfume on Jesus feet and wiped them dry with her hair.

(b) Martha had fixed him dinner

(3) they had a special relationship

(a) VS 5 - “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus

(b) not a - I love everybody kind of love

(i) mary martha lazarus and jesus were friends

(ii) they had spent time together

(iii) they were imitate knowing friends

(iv) Mary Martha and Lazarus were disciples of Jesus

b) So it is only natural that Mary and Martha would inform the Lord that Lazarus was sick - LOOK AT Vs 3

(1) they didn’t explicitly ask Jesus to come

(2) perhaps that request is implicit in their notification

(a) they thought Jesus would automatically come out of his love for Lazarus and when he heard Lazarus was sick

(3) perhaps they believed that Jesus could heal Lazarus from where he was and they didn’t need to ask him

(4) in any event, it is clear Mary and Martha EXPECTED Jesus to heal Lazarus

c) But Jesus waits…..(pause)… and Lazarus dies

C. After Lazarus had died

1. FOUR DAYS AFTER LAZARUS DIES - jesus shows up

a) Important, significant to the story

(1) the jewish people believed that the soul resided in the vicinity of the body of a deceased for three days, hoping to rejoin the body - life was still possible but

(2) after four days passed the soul gave up and departed - and there was no more hope. It was over - the person was dead.

(3) the fact that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days meant that there was no possibility of his would rejoining his body.

(a) it meant it was hopeless

b) Four days after Lazarus dies Martha hears that Jesus is coming and she runs out to him

(1) we are talking about running out the door

(2) we are talking a little distance from the home

(3) in her anguish Martha runs to Jesus tears streaming down her cheek

c) VS 21 -

d) Martha had believed Jesus could have saved lazarus

(1) her voice trembles with disappointment

(a) her underlying words to Jesus is

(i) how could you not have come and healed Lazarus

(ii) we trusted you, we believed in you and now

(iii) my brother , Lazarus, the one you said you loved , is dead

(b) but even in her despair and disappointment she can’t give up on Jesus totally

(i) VS 22

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