A Picture of Resurrection

This week’s sermon was on Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Of course, the raising of a dead person is a magnanimous event in and of itself. There have been many great teachers in the world, but which of them—other than Jesus—could ever say, “A day is coming when those who will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live” (John 5:25). But to get the real meaning of the event we have to probe further into what Jesus was saying about himself when he raised Lazarus from the dead. Think about some of the other things Jesus did and why he did them. He made bread. Why? To show that he was the true bread from heaven. He created wine at a wedding. Why? To show that he would bring the ultimate wedding feast. He made a blind man see. Why? To show that he can take away the spiritual blindness that infects the human race. And he raised a man form the grave. Why? To show that He is the resurrection and life. You see the point is not merely that Jesus had compassion on a single family by bringing a loved one back from the dead. How could that possibly help us, when we lose loved ones and don’t have Jesus around to revive them? The point is that the resurrection unto new life has already begun because Christ has come. We can have resurrection life now.

There’s a hymn that I love that has a line in it that says in heaven we will be “more happy but not more secure.” Will there be a change when we die and go to heaven? Yes. Our happiness will increase exponentially. But the security we have in Christ will not increase. Why not? Because, if we are in Christ, we are already absolutely secure. We are already raised with him unto newness of life. You see the most significant and all determining change that you and I (if we are believers) will ever undergo is not the change that occurs when we die, but the change that occurs when we believe in Christ. Those who believe, Jesus says, have already passed over from death to life (John 5:24).

To listen to the message click here.

Application questions:

  • What do you look to as the most life transforming event for you? Is it finishing your degree, getting married, finding a job, a certain success or accomplishment? Or is it the resurrection life you have in Christ?
  • Do you fear death? By fear I mean a sense of dread, particularly a dread that creates anxiety. If you fear death, how does that fit with your belief that Jesus is the resurrection from the dead?
  • How do you respond when your prayers go unanswered? Does the way you respond reveal your ultimate trust and rest in the goodness of God? Or does it reveal  that, at the end of the day, you want to be your own shepherd?

For next week:

This coming Sunday we are going to look at John 12, focusing particularly on verses 1-36. Read the passage and ask yourself, what is Jesus saying about the way in which we find true life?


About mike

As a result of God's sovereign grace, Mike is--first and foremost--a Christian. He is the husband of a beautiful wife, father of five wonderful kids, and pastor of Greenbelt Baptist Church, in Maryland.
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