Monday, March 30, 2015

LIVING LIKE LAZARUS

MOST OF US KNOW THE STORY OF LAZARUS, sick friend of Jesus, whom Jesus waits to visit until he’s dead. Upset sisters. Jesus weeps. Raises Lazarus from the dead. Sets him free from his clothes of death. All in a day’s work for the Messiah!  (Don’t remember? Read all about it here: John 11:1-57.)

Like all good stories and this is more than just a good story, there’s more to it, the story moves on. When Jesus raises you from the dead your life can never be the same again. Some people are ecstatic with joy! If you’re Lazarus, you may be a little perplexed. And then there are those who are those I like to refer to as the “joy-suckers.”  Their place in this world is the suck the life out of anything that brings life and joy.  In Jesus’ day a lot of those were part of a fun-loving group called the Sanhedrin.  (John 11:46-53; John 12:10-11)

Back to our buddy Lazarus.  There’s not a whole lot we know about him. He had two sisters, Mary and Martha.  He lived (and died, at least once) in Bethany. He was a friend of Jesus, that’s a great thing if you’re sick and moving toward death, (which we all are.) He was brought back to life by Jesus and became a local celebrity; everybody was dropping by to see a living miracle. (John 12:9)

Now, if Jesus raises you from the dead, it carries with it certain responsibilities like thankfulness, staying close to Jesus, making sure that even though there are many coming to see you, you’re not to be the main point of attention. Remember, you didn't raise you from the dead, Jesus did! And, oh yeah, not everybody is going to believe you were really dead and they’re not too happy you’re a live either.  Spoil sports!

There is a lesson for those of us whom Jesus has raised from our spiritual death. Remember the Scriptures tell us that apart from surrendering our life to Jesus, and placing our faith in Him and His atoning death upon the cross and the power of His resurrection we are dead (present-tense) because of our sins. (Romans 3:23-26; Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:4-10)  The good news is that He has raised us (past-tense) to a newness of life, a life that is to be life for His glory.  A life that is to bring attention not to us, but to Him!

So, here’s my strong suggestion: let’s live lives like Lazarus! Let’s allow Jesus to raise us from our spiritual deathbed. Let His Word loose us from our shroud of death so that we can walk freely, living for Him. Let us live lives that draw attention to the life-giving power of Jesus by our thankfulness, our constant drawing near to Him and through the proclamation of both word and deed.

Sure, not everybody is going to be thrilled with you message of God’s grace, but hey, you've been raised from the dead by your friend!  How cool is that?! For we can say with confidence, “The LORD is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6; Psalm 118:5-9)


Live the resurrected life! 

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