Posted in death, encouragement, lazarus, resurrection

O death, where is your victory?

I don’t understand all that God does, or why. We understand some, because He revealed it to us in His word and through His Son.

But death…when a friend or loved one dies, it’s so sad. Even Jesus wept at the death of his friend Lazarus. He wept even knowing He would raise Him.

But what a spectacular event!

The Death of Lazarus

1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

5Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. (John 11:1-6)

I Am the Resurrection and the Life

17Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. (John 11:17-21).

Jesus Raises Lazarus

Giotto: Raising of Lazarus

38Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” (John 11:38-44).

How beautiful is the glorification of the Father through His Son. And, His words echo in a spiritual truth- ‘death, let him go.’ Jesus is Master over death. He let us go! What a day it will be when Jesus says finally to satan, let go all my people, and satan is cast into the Lake of Fire.

Death, where is your victory? Where is your sting?

Posted in lazarus, miracle, sin

The chief priests wanted to kill Lazarus

“When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.” (John 12:9-11)

“Crowds of the Jerusalem Jews hastened to Bethany, not so much to see Jesus, whom they knew to be there, as to see dead Lazarus alive; and this, issuing in their accession to Christ, led to a plot against the life of Lazarus also, as the only means of arresting the triumphs of Jesus (see John 12:19)-to such a pitch had these chief priests come of diabolical determination to shut out the light from themselves, and quench it from the earth!” (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary).

How incredible the power is sin is. The chief priests, endowed with the sacred cause of ministering in the holy Temple and interceding for the people, instead plotted murder of Lazarus, the living miracle! (As an aside, I wonder how Lazarus felt being a tourist attraction…if it pointed to Christ, which it did, I bet he felt pretty good about it!)

Sin is so dark and strangling, the Priests’ hearts were dwindled down to a shriveled pea but as dense heavy as a black hole. Yet so was my heart, before I was saved! Our Lord is so loving and precious, He first loved us. (Romans 5:8).

I guess just be warned by the fact that sin will make you as heartless as the priests and Pharisees, who wanted to quench the Light and douse the triumphs. And be encouraged that no matter what your sin, if you repent, and seek Him He will forgive you.

photo credit: Lel4nd via photopin cc