Summary: A message about having a relationship with Christ using the story of Lazarus
You Should See Me Now
This morning I want to look at the story in John about Lazarus. The complete story of Lazarus is really incredible story to look at. The impact of all that took place is amazing and should serve as example of the impact that our own life should make. If you have been around church very much at all then you most likely have heard the story of Lazarus and how that Jesus raised him from the dead. Today I want to take a fresh look at this miraculous event. Now this family were not strangers to Jesus in fact Lazarus and his sisters Mary & Martha were good friends of Jesus. In fact when the sisters sent a message to Jesus about Lazarus, it said “Lord. Your dear friend is very sick”. So this is someone that has a relationship with Jesus. When He gets the message he delays in coming right away and then a couple of days later He tells the disciples they need to go because our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep and I need to wake him up… then He made it clear to them that he was in fact dead. So they head to Bethany and talk with Mary & Martha about his death… let’s pick the story up here.
34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” 37 But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?” 38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” 40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
Now this is a rather simple story to see the main point in. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. It is kind of hard to top a story like that. Lazarus was dead in the tomb for 4 days and I can assure you that his body was wreaking of stench. The sisters and friends have been in mourning and it has been a tough period. They knew that had Jesus been there that Lazarus could have been healed and yet here they are… at the tomb. The grave of their brother and friend.
Now let me tell you something about this moment. It is not just something that started on this day. This was a relationship that was birthed during this crisis. Lazarus and his sisters knew Jesus, they believed in Jesus and they cared about Jesus. They had hung out, eaten dinner together, listened to Jesus teach. They had a relationship before this situation ever developed.
I want you to understand today that right now is the time to have your relationship with Jesus. Today is the time to follow Him, to live for Him. There is a real benefit in Knowing Christ that goes beyond an eternity in Heaven. So many people live their life wanting to stay connected just enough to Jesus to make Heaven. They all hope that they will have enough time at the end to make sure things are right. They want Jesus to be a part of when they die but they do not give Him the place in their life while they live.
Now it is true that Jesus came and gave His life so that you might believe on Him and live with Him for eternity, but He also came that you might have life NOW. In John 10:10 Jesus states that He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. In the NLT translation Jesus says
10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
You see there is something to be said for following Christ… allowing Him to be the Lord of your life. Lazarus knew this before he faced this great trial and man did it pay off. Lazarus was sick and then he died. They had his funeral, they buried him in the tomb and rolled the stone if front of it. A problem does not get much more final than that. But because of his relationship with Jesus this was not the end. Jesus stood outside of the tomb and spoke life into Lazarus… Lazarus come out!