Summary: The death and resurrection of Lazarus is symbolic of three types of men. Which one are you?

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Three Types of Men

John 11; 12:9-10

There is a true story of a chaplain at the Geisner Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania. He was called to the bedside of a woman who had suffered a severe heart attack. In the moments it took him to take the elevator to that floor, the woman was pronounced dead. The only ones remaining in the room were the doctor and a nurse filling out the required paperwork.

The Chaplain spoke to the doctor and asked if there was any family in the hospital. The doctor said that he didn’t know so the chaplain turned to leave the room but felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to stay and pray for the dead woman and her family. As he silently prayed, suddenly the woman bolted straight up and said, “Hey! What’s going on here?”

I don’t know who was more frightened:

· The woman

· The doctor and nurse

· Or the chaplain


Have you ever wondered why Jesus does things his way? And on His timing?

We are going to read a story today of a resurrection – the calling of someone from death to life.

I love this story because it demonstrates the true nature of Christ. He has authority over death!

I gain comfort from that because if Jesus has authority over death – then He has authority over life – my life: your life.

Read John 11:1-7

Read John 11:17-23

Read John 11:32-44

Read John 12:9-10

I’d like to share with you a message entitled “Three types of men” from these passages of scripture that we just read together.

Draw parallels:

1. The Dead Man: From Dead to ALive

2. The Defeated Man: From Bound to Free

3. The Dangerous Man: From Complacent to Radical

1. The Dead Man: From Dead to Alive

Nobody likes to talk about death – there’s something finality that comes with even thinking about it.

The facts are that Lazarus was sick and he died. Regardless of what Martha thought, Jesus did care about this situation and he was looking for an opportunity to demonstrate his nature to those in that region. It was a hot topic…

Lazarus isn’t the only dead person in the world that Jesus wants to raise to life.

The Bible says that apart from Jesus – without Jesus – man is spiritually dead. And there’s nothing we can do to gain life on our own.

Most of us go through life believing that we’re basically good people. And to our credit – we are. I don’t know many people who walk around telling people, “Hey – you know what? I’m a bad person – I’m evil to the core.”

Most of us are really good people who occasionally mess up and make mistakes.

Most people in the world believe that when we get to heaven, we’ll stand in line and wait for God to judge us. When it’s our turn, we’ll probably be okay, because as we look around there’s a lot worse than us in line.

Sure we’re no Billy Graham or Mother Theresa, but we are pretty good. When we stand in front of God we’ll admit we’ve made mistakes but we’ll say, “But nobodies perfect.”

Time Magazine came out with an article on October 28th, 1996 entitled, “Science and Original Sin”. It said that scientists have discovered that we are born with a genetic predisposition to do wrong. We have a hereditary dark side. In fact, it’s possible that some of our immoral behaviors are passed on to us by our parents – things like propensity to alcohol, drugs or even a bad temper.

You may be thinking, whew – I knew it wasn’t my fault. I was born this way.

I love it when science finally discovers what God’s been saying for centuries. We were born with a sin nature. The Bible tells us in Romans 5 that when Adam sinned, our natures were forever altered – bent towards sin.

Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard.

Most people admit that they’ve sinned. What we disagree on is what that sin means to us.

Raise your hand if you have a job and you get paid.

What is it called when you get paid – wage – it’s what you’ve earned. I want to be clear on this.

Romans 6:23 says, For the wages of sin is death. Yes death – what the Bible is saying here is that if we’ve sinned – we are spiritually dead.

But there’s more…

But the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

We don’t have to die – we can live.

Read Romans 6:18 – “Adam’s one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness makes all people right in God’s sight and gives them life.”

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