Summary: This is a story based on the death and reviving of Lazarus using selected scriptures
Three Burials of Amad Lahem Lazarus
This morning I want to tell you a story.
While this story is partially based on actual events, some of it is what we call “poetic license”.
This means I can say this is based on a true story and then make almost the whole thing up.
The name of the story is Three Burials of Amad Lahem Lazarus.
Our story begins with our main character Amad Lahem Lazarus
A middle aged Jewish man living in the first century.
He was unmarried, which was quite strange, but in turn he devoted most of his time to his family.
He and his two sisters lived a quiet life in a quiet suburb.
But unknown too many, Amad Lahem had some friends in high places, the highest as a matter of fact.
For you see, Amad Lahem had met and befriended the most popular man in all the land, and the two became very close friends.
They loved each other very much.
And one day his esteemed friend would show to what extent his love really reached.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Three specific events in Amad Lahem’s life are very much worth discussing, we will call them his 3 burials.
The first burial was an amazing event.
Not at all painful, or sorrowful.
No weeping or wailing.
No mourners or obituaries.
Actually, there was a great celebration. In fact the very angels in Heaven rejoiced at this blessed event.
Let’s read about the first burial of Amad Lahem Lazarus.
Romans 6:4, 6-7 Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (or be slaves of sin). 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Did you catch it?
The old man, Amad Lahem’s old sin nature was dead.
We will call this first burial Justification.
This was the day Amad Lahem Lazarus met Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.
II Corinthians 5:17 says if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature, the old things passed away, behold new things have come.
A. This is what is commonly referred to as salvation,or the salvation experience.
When a person comes to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
The old self is dead
The Greek word for old does not refer to something old in years
Refers to something that is worn out and useless.
A. Our Justification Comes From God
II Corinthians 5:18 “Now, all these things are from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ.”
Where does our righteousness come from?
Romans 3:10 says there is no one righteous.
Psalm 14:1+3 There is no one who does good, not even one.
Our righteousness comes from God
It is His righteousness, not ours.
We can not generate even one once of righteousness.
Romans 3:22 This righteousness from God comes through faith.
C. We are justified of made righteous by God.
Not of ourselves, why?
Because then we would have something to boast about.
The first few chapters of Romans speak of the Jews boasting about their Jewish ness, and how much that displeased God.
When we believe, we are declared righteous by Christ’s blood.
We are justified
Not “Just - as - if - I’d” never sinned, because you did sin.
Illustration Lets say you where caught speeding down this highway in front of the church.
You were doing 100 mph, obviously slightly out of the acceptable speeding window.
You go to court and just as the judge is about to throw the book at you, someone steps forward and says I will pay the fine.
"I will take the punishment."
And you get off, without paying the fine, without any punishment at all.
You have been justified.
Made right in the eyes of the law.
That doesn’t change the fact that you were speeding.
But the court sees you as innocent.
That is what Christ did for us.
God’s wrath and justice demands punishment for our sins, His righteous judgment.
But God looks at us through Christ’s blood and sees us as innocent.
We are made clean.
We are a new creature just like in II Corinthians 5:17.
Illustration - New vs. Like new. Like a Lexus certified pre-owned it’s a new class of vehicles they say in the commercials.
Now we are in no sense the old man made over or improved.
We are a new man.
The old man is dead and buried.
Hence the first burial of Amad Lahem Lazarus.