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OUT OF THE GRAVEAND INTO LIFE!JOHN 11:1–44

Introduction“ The Gospel of John is at the same time deep enough for aelephant to swim, and shallow enough for a child to play in.”— St. AugustineJesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples thatare not written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you maybelieve that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believingyou may have life in his name.— John 20:30–31In the pain and trials of life, even in the face of deathitself, we can find hope and comfort in the person of JesusChrist, the one who is the resurrection and the life.

Now a man was sick, Lazarus from Bethany, thevillage of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 Mary was theone who anointed the Lord with perfume and wipedhis feet with her hair, and it was her brother Lazaruswho was sick. 3 So the sisters sent a message to him:“Lord, the one you love is sick.”1 When Jesus heard it, he said, “This sickness will notend in death but is for the glory of God, so that theSon of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesusloved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. 6 So when heheard that he was sick, he stayed two more days inthe place where he was.4 JOHN 11: 1 – 6

Then after that, he said to the disciples, “Let’s go toJudea again.”7 “Rabbi,” the disciples told him, “just now the Jews triedto stone you, and you’re going there again?”8 “Aren’t there twelve hours in a day?” Jesus answered.“If anyone walks during the day, he doesn’t stumble,because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyonewalks during the night, he does stumble, because thelight is not in him.”9 He said this, and then he told them, “Our friend Lazarushas fallen asleep, but I’m on my way to wake him up.”11 JOHN 11: 7 – 11

Then the disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallenasleep, he will get well.”12 Jesus, however, was speaking about his death, butthey thought he was speaking about natural sleep.14So Jesus then told them plainly, “Lazarus has died.15 I’m glad for you that I wasn’t there so that you maybelieve. But let’s go to him.”13 Then Thomas (called “Twin”) said to his fellowdisciples, “Let’s go too so that we may die with him.”16 JOHN 11: 12 – 16

An Unexpected Delay“ For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.”This is the Lord’s declaration.“ For as heaven is higher than earth, so my ways are higher than your ways,and my thoughts than your thoughts. — Isaiah 55:8–9Dear friends, don’t overlook this one fact: With the Lord one day is like athousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delayhis promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wantingany to perish but all to come to repentance.— 2 Peter 3:8–9Our prayer should not be “what’s the quickest way out ofthis situation, but instead, “how can I glorify God in this?”Our logic, and our plans fall short comparedto the power and plans of God.

When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus hadalready been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany wasnear Jerusalem (less than two miles away).19 Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Maryto comfort them about their brother.17 As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming,she went to meet him, but Mary remained seatedin the house. 21 Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, ifyou had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.22Yet even now I know that whatever you ask fromGod, God will give you.”20 JOHN 11: 17 – 22

“Your brother will rise again,” Jesus told her.23 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again inthe resurrection at the last day.”24 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.The one who believes in me, even if he dies, willlive.26 Everyone who lives and believes in me willnever die. Do you believe this?”25 “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe you are theMessiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world.”27 JOHN 11: 23 – 27

Having said this, she went back and called her sisterMary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and iscalling for you.”28 As soon as Mary heard this, she got up quicklyand went to him. 30 Jesus had not yet come intothe village but was still in the place where Marthahad met him. 31 The Jews who were with her in thehouse consoling her saw that Mary got up quicklyand went out. They followed her, supposing thatshe was going to the tomb to cry there.29 JOHN 11: 28 – 31

As soon as Mary came to where Jesus was and sawhim, she fell at his feet and told him, “Lord, if youhad been here, my brother wouldn’t have died!”32 When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who hadcome with her crying, he was deeply moved in hisspirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” heasked. “Lord,” they told him, “come and see.”33 35Jesus wept.So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But someof them said, “Couldn’t he who opened the blindman’s eyes also have kept this man from dying?”36 JOHN 11: 32 – 37

The Desolation of Martha and MaryEternal life doesn’t start after death eternal life startsthe moment you are “in Christ.”Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus,— Romans 8:1For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.— 1 Corinthians 15:22Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away,and see, the new has come!— 2 Corinthians 5:17Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us withevery spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ.— Ephesians 1:3

The Desolation of Martha and MaryFor we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with ourweaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way as we are, yetwithout sin.— Hebrews 4:15casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you.— 1 Peter 5:7Where Jesus offered Martha hope in his deity,he offered comfort to Mary in his humanity.

The Desolation of Martha and MaryGod wants us to come to Him with ourquestions and doubtsImmediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”— Mark 9:24Jesus joins into the pains of those he loves.Let us do the sameRejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.— Romans 12:15

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb.It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.38 “Remove the stone,” Jesus said.39 Martha, the dead man’s sister, told him, “Lord,there is already a stench because he has beendead four days.”Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believedyou would see the glory of God?”40 JOHN 11: 38 – 40

So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised hiseyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you heardme. 42 I know that you always hear me, but becauseof the crowd standing here I said this, so that theymay believe you sent me.” 43 After he said this, heshouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”44 The dead man came out bound hand and foot withlinen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth.Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.”41 JOHN 11: 41 – 44

There and Back Again: A Dead Man’s Tale“ Jesus specifically called Lazarus by name because otherwise,every other dead body would have risen too. Such is thepower of him who is the resurrection and the life.”— Charles SpurgeonWe do not hope in a resurrection like Lazaruswe hope in a resurrection like Jesus

ConclusionEven when I go through the darkest valley,I fear no danger,for you are with me;your rod and your staff—they comfort me.— Psalm 23:4Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have,for he himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you.— Hebrews 13:5In the pain and trails of life, even in the face of death,we can find hope and comfort in the person of JesusChrist, the one who is the resurrection and the life.

17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem (less than two miles away). 19 Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother. 20 As soon as Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him, but Mary remained seated in the house.

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