Summary: Easter, Jesus
The message of Easter is the central theme of Christianity: Jesus Christ has power over death, hell and the grave!
Illustr. – Christian and Muslim sitting together on a plane.
(LAZARUS) John 11:21-26; 38-44 (READ)
Now that is one awesome, true story! One of the events I would like to have seen if given the opportunity to “time travel.” I share that powerful story again with you on this Easter Sunday for this reason: Jesus Christ never doubted that Lazarus was going to come out of that tomb! There were no “ifs” “buts” or “maybes”. He was the one person in the crowd that day who knew with absolute confidence that a man dead four days was about to walk out of the tomb.
People were equally surprised on Easter Sunday morning. Why is it that the only person who wasn’t surprised about the resurrection was the guy who was supposed to be the corpse? Everyone was mourning a dead Jesus, and Jesus was out of the grave walking around! I called this message “The Lazarus Man” because Lazarus was a man who came back from the dead. He died but he lived again. But the message is not about Lazarus, it’s about the one who said, “I AM the resurrection and the life, He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live!” I want to prove to you from Scripture this morning that the resurrection was no accident.
Jesus was not afraid of the cross because he thought he would fail. He feared it only from the standpoint that it would put him through the greatest amount of pain and suffering ever endured by a human being. It was the agony he wanted to avoid. His resurrection was never in question, as you will see. Jesus Christ, “The Lazarus Man” knew, just like he knew that day outside the tomb of his friend Lazarus, that death was no obstacle to the Son of the Living God! There was never any doubt.
(JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER) Mark 5:21-43 – While teaching one day, Jesus was approached by a man named Jairus, a leader in the local synagogue. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet and pleaded, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him, but on the way to the house, the news reached Jesus and this distraught father that the little girl had died. (huge crowd following him, healing of the woman with the issue of blood). You need to hear these next two verses straight from the Word.
Mark 5:35b-36 – “‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. “Why bother the teacher and more?’”
Ignoring what they said, (“Don’t even pay them any attention.”) Death, to Jesus, is nothing more than a change of status from mortality to immortality. Since he controls the power of death and life, he is able to overrule either of them at any time. Jesus looked Jairus right in the eye and said, and he didn’t even break a sweat when he said these words, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” “Don’t be afraid!?!” He just received news that his little girl is dead!! I have been with a man who watched his little 11 year old daughter die of leukemia, and there were very few words of comfort I could think to give. We just hugged and cried and prayed and loved each other. (I have never seen such sorrow as that Daddy looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “She’s the joy of my life!”)
Jesus looked at this father who has just learned that his daughter, the “joy of his life” is dead, and he says, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” He said it with such confidence! Here’s what he was saying, “Don’t be afraid of death – you’re with me!” (Hallelujah! “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”) “It’s OK, you’re with the one man who has authority over death. Don’t sweat it. Just let me handle this.”
So Jesus, left the others behind, took Peter, James and John along with the father, and went straight to Jairus’ house. When they got there, people were wailing and crying and already deep in mourning. Jesus said, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” I want you to see the response of the people.
Mark 5:40a – “But they laughed at him.” Doubt often hindered Jesus miracles – but in this case, once he had made up his mind, the people’s response was irrelevant. Laugh all you want, Jesus has said to me and to all who believe, “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” He closed the door on the scoffers. (There’s another message! “After he put them all out.” They missed out on the resurrection, just like those who scoff at Jesus today will be put out to a place where there is “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth” instead of inheriting eternal life through C. Jesus). Once he had closed the door on the skeptics, Jesus took the child’s father and mother, Peter, James and John and went into the room where the little girl was.