True Worshipers – Lazarus and sisters
We are going through the series with the title “True worshippers” and may we become true worshippers that receive life from Him, find eternal life and come to believe in Him.
This chapter John 11 covers the miracle that Jesus has performed and one that we remember the most. We wish to experience the same and want to receive that life. Sometimes God’s timing doesn’t satisfy our expectations.
What do we fear the most in our lives of faith?
Regardless of whether we believe in Jesus or not, what human beings fear the most is death. Next, is when we find that God’s will for me is contrary to my desires and wishes. If you hear God’s voice asking you to do the thing you feared the most, what would you do?
In John 11, there are several things that seem illogical.
1. John 11:4 – When Mary and Martha send a person to inform Jesus that Lazarus is about to die, Jesus says that this illness does not lead to death and it is for the glory of God.
When God speaks of His glory, He refers to opening up the spiritual world to show us a glimpse of that. Jesus is saying, through this, the focus is not on Lazarus’s death but it is about us seeing the heavenly glory.
Jesus is saying I will give you a sneak preview about the power of heaven. May our focus be on the right point. No matter how urgent and important our situation may be, the focus of our life should be on the glory of God.
2. John 11:5-6. Jesus loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus, so He delayed 2 more days when He heard Lazarus was sick.
Wouldn’t you expect Jesus to act right away if He really loved us? Jesus did this to make believing in Jesus “real”.
During those days, Lazarus probably died while the messenger was on the way to Jesus. Back then, people think physically it might still be possible within 3 days from death for the soul to return, so if Jesus waited 2 days and travelled 1 day, then 4 days is physically impossible for a person to come back alive. So when Jesus arrives, Mary and Martha informs Jesus that Lazarus’ body is already stinking, rotting. Jesus makes sure they know it is already physically impossible for Lazarus to come back alive.
3. John 11:25-26
Martha states her faith, not blaming Jesus, that if He had been here her brother will not have died. That is great faith. She knew Jesus would have saved him. The condition is “if you were here” which limits Jesus to physical time and space. Martha is speaking of her faith that Jesus had to be here. However, her faith meant “Jesus you are late.”
Martha’s faith is good, she believes Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, the one who is to come, she also believes in the resurrection of the last days. We are so focused on “ourselves” getting resurrection and eternal life. Jesus is saying HE is the resurrection and life. The correct question is: Do I have Jesus? The wrong question is: Do I have resurrection and life?
Even if we are dead like Lazarus, we are fine as long as we have Jesus.
4. John 11:33. Jesus was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled.
Jesus knew He can raise back Lazarus to life, so then why was He crying?
The English Bible does not translate the word “deeply moved in the spirit” properly. In Greek it is “ἐμβριμάομαι embrimaomai” which means to warn sternly, to scold, to have an intense feeling of concern, often with indignation. It means to be upset, angry, indignant, offended. Jesus was not moved to pity. He was indignant because all humankind are ruled under the force of death and cannot get out of it.
Abraham was not afraid to give Isaac that life, because he had that life already. Jesus’ focus was to give God the glory, even through death.
5. John 11:42. Father, I thank You that You have heard me.
Jesus is saying, this is an intercessory prayer, I am praying so they can believe.
This prayer opened up the barrier between death and life. Physically there was a stone blocking the tomb, but something bigger and stronger than that tombstone was the realm of death and life. Do we have an open door between the realm of death and life? Or is it still blocked? Like the veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, when Jesus died the veil ripped open. That is the true redemption and atonement.
Through this redemption work, Lazarus who was bound up in death, was released into the realm of life. May you and I be released from the realm of death into life, but when? When Jesus comes later? No, today!
Those characters who believe in Jesus became witnesses for Jesus and caused many people to come to believe in Jesus.
Jesus takes us through the altar of incense into the Holy of Holies. The altar of incense symbolizes the prayer of saints.
Reverend Abraham Park the author of the History of Redemption Series, in his 9th book about the tabernacle, teaches that in the book of Hebrew it is speaking spiritually because the only thing that can enter into the kingdom of heaven today right now, is your prayer. That is how important and powerful our prayers are. It allows our hearts to be delivered to the throne of God.
Jesus became the mediator of the new covenant, so we don’t remain under the curse of sin but have the promise of eternal life.
May we receive that new covenant. May we not consider Jesus as the means but may Jesus be the ends.