TEXT – John 11:25-26 – Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

There is life after this life. 1 Corinthians 15:19 tells us that if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. We should have a faith that takes us beyond the grave. However, the gospel of Jesus Christ is not limited to a “pie in the sky, wait until you die, in the sweet by and by” message. There is a message of life after death that applies to this life. There is life after the death of a marriage in this life. There is life after the death of a job in this life. There is life after the death of your finances in bankruptcy in this life. Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life and, no matter what dies in our lives, as long as we still have Jesus we have enough to start again. The life, death, and life after death of Lazarus is our blueprint of how to start again and move into life after death in this life.

The eleventh chapter of the gospel according to John starts with a description of the demise of Lazarus’ life. It says that Lazarus, whom Jesus Christ loved, was sick. It also says that the same Jesus that opened blind eyes, unstopped deaf ears, and healed the lame and the withered in the past allowed Lazarus to die. Mary and Martha were right in saying that if Jesus would have come earlier, then their brother would not have died. However, if Jesus had come earlier, then all Lazarus could have been is what he was before he was sick. Sometimes we need more than just a Band-Aid. Sometimes death is a part of the resurrection process. Sometimes death has to occur for new life to begin. Sometimes, in order to move beyond just “well” to “well done though good and faithful servant, some things have to die. In order for a seed to become a tree, the seed has to die. Sometimes that marriage or that job are not worth saving to just become what they were again. Sometimes they need to be resurrected. Sometimes, if it ain’t broke, you have to break it. If it’s just surviving instead of thriving let God resurrect it. If it’s not productive, let God resurrect it. The bible said nothing about God using Lazarus for miracles or ministry until Lazarus died. Sometimes something has to die for there to be life after death in this life for the glory of God that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. The life, death, and life after death of Lazarus shows us that going from death to life after death in this life is a six step process:

1. Receive the word of the Lord – Jn 11:23 – Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. I say by the Spirit of prophecy, you shall rise again. There is nothing too hard for the Lord. Receive the word of the Lord concerning your situation. You shall rise again!

2. Face your problem – Jn 11:34 – And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. You have to look at the remains. Something happened to cause our situation to reach this condition. How did it get so sick? How did it die? You have to face your problem, trace your problem, and let God erase your problem or you’ll end up in the same situation again.

3. Get rid of the excuses – Jn 11:39 – Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Take away the stone. The stone is the excuse “It’s too hard.” Get rid of the excuses because the excuse is not the real issue. The reason for the stone was to cover up the stink. The reason for the excuse is to justify the stinking thinking “I can’t.” Get “I can’t” out of your vocabulary and get rid of the excuses!

4. Pray – Jn 11:41-42 – And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father I thank thee that thou hast heard me… I believe Jesus prayed before he got there. That’s why he said, “ I thank thee that thou hast heard me”. I believe Jesus was always in the attitude of prayer and that’s why he knew when Lazarus was dead. I believe Jesus prayed in the Spirit in Jn 11:33 and Jn 11:38. Jesus also prayed in Jn 11:41-42. I don’t believe you can pray too much. As we get past the death of the marriage, or the death of the job, the death of our finances to enter a new and living way, we are entering into new and uncertain territory. I believe the way we learn how to live this new and living way is by prayer.

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Bobby Awtrey

commented on May 18, 2009

Great Message.... I am using the topic to challenge our deacons and our congregation to take off the Graveclothes and come forth to be a witness... Thanks for sharing the inspiration.....

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