If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9 NLT We are listening to Jesus talk to friends and family at Lazarus’s house. It is the Saturday before he rides into Jerusalem. The Saturday before Palm Sunday. Judas is angry that Mary had used a lot of expensive oil on Jesus’s feet. Jesus told him, Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial.” (John 12:1-3, 7 NLT) Before we move further into that conversation let’s take a short look back.
During the week before, Lazarus, Whom Jesus dearly loved, died. It took him four days to get to Mary after getting word of his illness. Of course, they had seen him heal all kinds of sickness and yet he did not make it in time to heal his friend, Martha’s brother. The minute Jesus arrived they expressed their great disappointment that he was slow and Lazarus died. The Scriptures inform us that Jesus was both sad and became angry. A Conversation between Jesus and Martha ensued. A conversation that we should never forget. Why? because it prepares us for the resurrection. Listen in:
“When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” John 11:20-27 NLT
What a profound conversation! Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and Life.” Jesus said, “anyone who believes in me will live!” Check this out, “even after dying.” Well that makes no sense! If I am dead then there is no need to worry about life! But Jesus had just told Martha, “Your brother will rise again.” I feel like he was saying, Martha, I know that you believe in the end he will rise, but just wait a few minutes. I’m going to show you the glory of God. That’s what’s in my vision.
But instead Jesus said to her words we should hold on to and never forget. “ Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never die.” Then he asked her,” Do you believe this Martha?” She said, yes Lord. But Martha was about to get a greater understanding of what the resurrection means to mere mortals. Stop and think for a minute. Do you believe what Jesus said? Do you have life even after death? Will you live and never die? That is a lot to believe. Let’s watch Jesus back up his claim beyond any question.
After talking to Martha, Jesus when to Lazarus’s grave. Even though they protested because by this time he really stank, they rolled back the stone. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 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.” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a head cloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”(John 11:41-44 NLT). They saw Lazarus come back to life after being dead and rotting for four days!
What amazement and shock had to come over many of the people. They knew that Jesus was powerful, and now they knew that he could raise the dead even after four days! The words that Jesus had spoken to Martha were surely ringing in her ears. Jesus said that, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Martha now knew that she will resurrect in Christ and never die. Even though she already believed that she would rise in the end, Jesus just demonstrated- to all- the Glory of God. Can you imagine the conversations that they had amongst themselves about Lazarus being raised from the dead.
In a short while, Jesus would be crucified on the cross. He too would raise from the dead. The women who followed Jesus. Who’s brother he had raised from the dead and Mary who had anointed his feet with oil would show up at his tomb to take care of his body. The angel of the Lord would meet them and tell them that he is no longer dead but risen. The woman would run with Joy to tell the disciples that Jesus is alive! They now knew that their resurrection and life was secure. That Jesus was alive! Just a few weeks ago he had shocked them, He had amazed them and He had in an awesome way prepared them for the resurrection. He had raised Lazarus! Now listening to the Angel, they had no doubt Jesus had been risen too.
Jesus gave us many examples of God’s Glory and His Love for us. Even so, many did not believe and even some disciples had doubts when he visited them after the resurrection. But, there are always followers who stand with Jesus as his disciples. The offer is extended to anyone. If you believe In Jesus death and Resurrection you will be given the gift of eternal life. If you want to know more, or want to accept Jesus as your savior Please contact us .
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Pastors Willie and Rochelle McIntosh