The Resurrection and the Life (John 11:17-44)

June 11, 2023 | Brandon Cooper


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

Good morning church. That is too loud. I know I’m quiet. I’m not that quiet. Go ahead and open your book, grab your Bibles open up to John chapter 11. John chapter 11. We’ll be starting in verse 17. This morning, as you’re turning their John 1117. I mentioned last week, as we were going to Jesus, the Good Shepherd protects us from the wolves in our lives, that death is that last enemy, the One A wolf that for sure stalks us all. We want to really pick up there and continue with it this morning. But by talking about the fact that there’s nothing right about death, it doesn’t ever feel right to us. There’s nothing natural or expected about it, which is kind of odd because it happens in nature. And you should probably expect it since it happens to everyone. And yet it doesn’t feel natural or expected. We know that’s true – when life is tragically cut short, of course. But even when someone lives What do we always say, a long full life, there is still grief, immense grief. My grandmother was 92 years old when she died. Amy’s grandmother was 95 when she died. These were long, full lives, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, all of that. And guess what? We cried still. Because death doesn’t feel right or expected. It’s the awful finality of it all. We just can’t bear the weight of unending separation. And the knowledge that that’s coming hot sauce throughout our lives, colors, our relationships with those we love. Most. We can certainly agree with Alfred Lord Tennyson quoted many times here, bow made us man he knows not why he thinks he was not made to die. That’s how we feel. I don’t think I was meant to die. It’s why we also agree if you only remember one poem from your English class, it probably was this one Dylan Thomas, “Do not go gentle into that good night. rage, rage against the dying of the light.” That’s how we feel about death. “No, I’m not going. You can’t make me. I will rage against this.” And what’s interesting is this is common in every culture. Throughout history, throughout geography. The great Dutch theologian Herman Babbage set it like this, he said, All people are convinced that man is immortal by nature. And therefore, it is not immortality that must be proven but death that must be explained. Death is felt as unnatural. Everywhere. What an interesting statement from a brilliant man to go, “We have to explain death because we’re so confident that we are immortal.” All evidence to the contrary since we’re clearly quite mortal. Why? Why do we need to explain the most certain fact of life that surrounds us daily? We’re going to make sense of our world, our place in this world, we must understand death, and our discomfort with it. That’s what we’ll set out to do this morning, to stare death in the face, to contemplate our immortality. We’ll do so by looking at a famous story when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, I’m gonna do things a little differently this morning. I’m gonna read our whole passage upfront. Why? This one is a little bit like a masterpiece of a work of art, we just got to kind of take in the whole thing all at once. And then we can kind of zero in on some details. In the paintings, we’re gonna read the full text. I’m gonna pull out some threads then as we go. I mentioned in the first week that each title for God or for Jesus really contains within it implicitly our brokenness, and then an explicit statement of the salvation God brings. And then again, implicitly, our response to that salvation. So that’s the threads we’re going to pull out as we go. But let me read John chapter 11, verses 17 to 44. On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now, Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews came to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. Lord, Martha said to Jesus, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now, God will give you whatever you ask. Jesus said to her, Your brother will rise again. Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” And Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life, the one who believes me will live Even though they die and whoever lives by believing me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who has come into the world.” After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside, “The teacher is here,” she said. “He is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, notice how quickly she got up and went out. They followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. When Jesus saw her weeping, the Jews would come along with her also weeping; he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.”Where have you laid him?”, he asked. “Come and see Lord.” they replied. Jesus wept. And the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb which was a cave with the stone laid across the entrance.”Takeaway the stone,” he said. “But Lord,” said, Martha, the sister of the dead man. “By this time, there’s a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” Then Jesus said, “Did not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God? So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked up and said, Father, “I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me. But I said this for the benefit of the people standing here that they may believe that you sent me. When he said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes, and let him go.”

Alright, so let’s start by looking at our brokenness. What’s the problem that this passage brings out implicitly about us with no context as we do that so Jesus and his disciples arrive in Bethany because they’ve heard that Jesus’s good friend, Lazarus was sick, and the report had reached him. And then, interestingly, Jesus actually wait two whole days before doing anything before setting out for Bethany and see that back in verse six, I didn’t read it. But when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days. Well, this friend who was sick has now died. You’d see in verse 17, where I started, that he was dead for four days at this point. So that means Jesus has delayed and did not kill Lazarus; he was going to be dead regardless. But it wasn’t important to delay still, because of a commonly held belief at the time. There’s not scripture or belief. But this was just a superstition of the time that the soul would kind of hang about sort of hovering near the body for a couple of days after death, hoping to kind of get back in so you want the theological textbook that deals with this? It’s The Princess Bride, right? Because he was mostly dead in their mind. At this point. Well, now Lazarus is completely dead, completely dead. And that’s going to be important for what Jesus is about to do. So Jesus is there. news reaches Lazarus, his sisters, again, good friends of Jesus that He has come. And so the sisters, each in turn rush out to meet him. And Jesus Christ with them. Jesus Christ with Mary in particular, that’s so interesting. We look at verse 33, again, where it says that he was deeply moved in spirit, and troubled. That is not a wrong translation, by any means is just a very tame translation, deeply moved in spirit doesn’t sound like how people talk, of course, unless they’re reading the Bible, the word here that the idea is in intense anger, what is it that’s moving about me shaking with rage is what’s happening and he is grieving. In fact, Jesus even weeps in verse 35. But why? Why? Because Jesus knew he was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, too. Why is he crying that his friend is dead? He knew this all way back in verse four; when he heard this, Jesus said, this sickness will not end in death. So he knows the end of the story, and yet he’s still crying. So it’s not because Lazarus is dead. It’s something else that’s causing him to cry. What is it? Look at the immediate cause. How does verse 33 start when Jesus saw her weeping? Jesus is angry and raged and grieving because he’s seeing his people suffer. He knows that death is not the way things are supposed to be. That death is a consequence of sin. And it is a indignity really an affront to the goodness of God. That’s why Jesus is upset. You ever watched A movie where you know that a character is alive. But the family member of the character doesn’t, you got some dramatic irony going on. And so like, you know, the guy’s fine, he made it out in time or something like that, like we saw that the other person didn’t. And so you’re watching this family member as they think that they’ve just lost someone they loved and you choke up a little bit. And you’re like, Well, why? Because again, I know he’s fine. I know they’re about to be renewed, but just seeing the anguish that they’re experiencing is enough for a little something in you to rise to the surface. That’s what’s happening here. Jesus was angry because death isn’t right. And what I love about this is it means it frees us to be angry with death to we don’t have to have a stoic resignation in the face of death. We can go no, no, this isn’t right. This isn’t how it should be. Thank God. But it’s interesting because death should be such a normal, natural part of life. Because we all experience it. So how come it doesn’t feel more than anything? We should all just be singing “Circle of Life” every time death happens because that’s what nature would teach us. But that’s not how we experience it. Given his kids, you understand this, Peter Kreeft is a Catholic theologian and philosopher, shares the story of a seven-year-old boy whose three-year-old cousin died. And he asked his Mom, where’s my cousin now? And the mom was a secularist mom did not believe in Jesus, or anything like that. And so the mom couldn’t give some of the answers that we like to give our kids wanted to be honest, in terms of what she believed were their sons. So she said this, your covenants gone back to the earth from which we all come. Death is a natural part of the cycle of life. So when you see the Earth put forth new flowers next spring, you can know that it is your cousin’s life, that is fertilizing those flowers. How did the boy respond? Well, it’s just like that lion movie I watched. No, the boys screamed at her, “I don’t want him to be fertilizer,” and ran off sobbing. Because we need a better answer because that’s not good enough. And we know it in our heart of hearts. This is the most fundamental brokenness that we experience, we all die. And yet none of us believes we should. We all die, and we don’t believe we should. And what’s so interesting is that Jesus seems to agree with us here. Now, this makes us different. This makes us different from the rest of creation. No other species feels this way about death. Because all other species live at an instinctual level. But the problem is that we’re conscious, self-conscious, really, and by self-conscious, I don’t mean worried about what other people think about me, but conscious that we are selves, that we are people that we exist, which then makes us conscious also of the almost cruel paradox that we experience as humans. We can comprehend eternity. And yet we live for a brief waking moment. That’s the paradox. Ernest Becker in his book, The Denial of Death, he’s walked me through Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher, Christian philosopher, he kind of summarizes what Kierkegaard says, like this, the idea is ludicrous, if not monstrous to no one is food for worms. This is the terror to have emerged from nothing to have a name, consciousness of self deep inner feelings, and excruciating inner yearning for life and self-expression. And with all this yet to die, it seems like a hoax. Honestly, this is why some people reject God because it’s almost too cruel to contemplate. And so you understand that, with all of that being true of us, this paradox within us why we all feel like we have to strive for immortality somehow. That’s why Becker’s book is called The Denial of Death we deny that we are going to die How do you do that? Maybe you have kids so you’ve got you know, someone to to carry your name on or some sort of legacy what are we all trying to do? We’re trying to leave our mark on the world mark, something lasting an impression that will be there, it doesn’t work. I’ve done this with you guys before all those A while ago, but I you know, I occasionally will ask groups of people like how many of your great-grandparents can you name and everyone looks around really uncomfortable. Usually the answer is about three of your great-grandparents that you can name if you are their closest relatives still around, and you don’t even remember their names. That’s how fleeting we are. That’s how vain how futile our striving for immortality is. It is a fool’s errand but it’s like we can’t escape it. We have to try still. We’re in denial. Well, if you know anything about denial, you know, the first step is admitting you have a problem. That’s what we got to do. That’s the first step. Your Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega talking about that first step he says this is the simple truth, that To live is to feel oneself loss, he who accepts it has already begun to find himself to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked he will look around for something to which to cling. And that tragic, ruthless glance absolutely sincere is the question of his salvation. That’s what we need. When we’re faced where we’re grasping for some sort of salvation, we need to look around and cling to something when we’re faced with our own mortality. But to what I heard a story just this week, we were talking about this passage, and someone mentioned, they’ve got a family member, who he and his wife have in their will, this little prescription that their brains are to be preserved. So that when the technology finally gets there, they can be brought back to life. I mean, Walt Disney did something similar, right, the original Disney on Ice, this whole idea of if we could we’re trying to cheat death to stay alive. So clinging to something we deny death, we cheat death, or or or we could, we could cling to Jesus instead, because he is our salvation. So let’s look at that second point, our salvation. It’s clear that Jesus is trying to teach us something with his whole raising of Lazarus even says, verses 40 to 42, that he did this for the benefit of the people standing there. So he’s doing this with the very clear understanding that he’s got an audience and it’s for them. I’ve mentioned before mentioned first week of this series that John calls Jesus’s miracles, signs and water signs, do they point to something else, we talked about the scenic view sign, right? You don’t take a picture of the scenic view sign, you look where the arrow is, you walk down there, and you take a picture of the scenic view. So why does Jesus perform these signs and not others? They’re always pointing to something, he feeds the 5000 because that’s pointing ahead to the Messianic banquet, the provision that Messiah offers or he walks on water to show that he is a lord over creation, or he heals and restores, to show what is coming in the new heavens and the new earth. Jesus doesn’t ever do magic tricks. And he doesn’t ever do miracles just to impress people with his power. Like you don’t ever see Jesus writing in the sky. I am the Messiah and everyone looks up and goes, Wow, okay, because that wouldn’t work. That’s not how people come to faith. So he’s always trying to tell us something with his miracles. What is he trying to tell us? By reviving Lazarus? Well, this is easy, right? What the sign is pointing to is pretty clear. He revives Lazarus as a picture of his own resurrection. So he revives Lazarus, Lazarus dies again. That’s why I keep saying revives instead of resurrects Lazarus dies again, of course later in life, but Jesus is raised into eternal life still lives even now in his physical body, as proof that death has truly been swallowed up in victory. This is the sign that in just a few weeks from when this all happens, Jesus will conquer death and the grave when he rises. That knowledge fundamentally transforms how we approach life, not just the next life, not just you know what happens after we die, but fundamentally transforms how we experience this life as well. Because we know how the story ends. I think I’ve shared this one before, too, but it’s still true. You know, imagine you’re on the ground, you see one of these little planes flying overhead and then all of a sudden two dots fall out of the plane. They look exactly the same. Just one difference. The guy on the left has a parachute. And the guy on the right not so much. Do you think their experience of plummeting to the Earth is different?
Probably why? Because the one knows he’s going to land gently. And the other knows he’s going to land with a splat how the story ends changes everything about the journey. So that’s what we have, you know, you’re not going to perish eternally. If you are in Christ that changes everything about the trip. It provides hope for Right to hope for us in the day today, the relationship isn’t severed completely by death. Our self-consciousness isn’t a cruel hoax. We don’t need to deny death, strive for immortality because we will live forever. We know that already, even though we are the one who believes me will live even though they die. And whoever lives by believing me will never really die, right death is just a passage to the next life. Tim Keller, who just went through this passage a few weeks ago, wrote, If it happened, right, if the resurrection happened, that means Christ breaks the barrier between the ideal and the real, we can have real hope. This isn’t just this ideal that we’re clinging to fools it is real hope. But only if it was a real resurrection. Like this doesn’t work. If this was just a symbol, the things will you know, things will get better, somehow some vague ethereal better place or something like that. No, we need this to be a flesh and blood hope, a real parachute, not a picture of a parachute. Right? So you’re familiar with ns, from the Lord of the Rings. They’re the tree shepherds. So they’re basically just trees that can walk and talk. And they’re ancient and wise, and also pretty fierce in battle. So very cool things. When we were in Costa Rica in February, we discovered that there is a tree called the walking palm. So it’s a palm tree that walks, which is amazing and surreal. Okay. So what happens is it puts its roots down. But you know, it’s in the rainforest, where you’re always fighting for sun. And so if it notices that there’s a little more sun over here, it puts out a new root and kind of shifts over a little bit. And this route will gradually dry up and move. So it walks, it’s a walking palm. And you get really excited about this. And then the guide tells you in the course of you know, these decades, it may move like four to six inches. Okay, so it’s not an end is what we learned right there. You see what I’m saying? Like, if you’re going to defeat sin, guard and sorrow on the wicked wizard, you need ants who can quench the fires of this weaponry, you don’t need a plant that kind of leans into the sun slightly. So it is with us and death symbols are not enough. We need more than a shadowy hope of an ill-defined future. We need to know that the trumpet will sound the dead will be raised and perishable and we will be changed, we will be raised. Notice that Martha kind of leaves this. Jesus says to her, Your brother will rise again. And Martha goes. I know, at the last day like I get it. I know what you’re saying, Jesus, she’s responding to Jesus. Like he’s offering her a platitude, which is almost no help at all. When you’re grieving. He’s in a better place. That’s fine. That doesn’t help me in my pain and my suffering right now. But that’s not what Jesus is doing. He’s not just offering a platitude. So he clarifies. Yes, yes, you’re right, he will rise at the resurrection. But I am the resurrection and the life. You see what Jesus has done there? He diverts attention from abstract belief to himself, like fix your eyes on me, Martha. He’s calling her to put personal trust in a personal Savior. These titles for Jesus that we’ve been looking at in this series, they don’t point to generic salvation, but to a personal Savior. And that’s what we really need. Because Jesus is the resurrection. He’s that final hope, that on the last day, the dead will be raised imperishable, that we are immortal. How is he the resurrection because he goes first. And in Him we are raised also by faith in him, but he’s also the life life in the here and now what we experienced now when the Spirit grants us new birth by faith, you don’t need to wait for eternity to have eternal life. John chapter 17, Jesus is praying to His Father and He says, This is eternal life that they know you and me whom You sent. That means we can have eternal life now and knowing God, goodness, that parachute idea of resurrection life is not just for eternity, it transforms our present to death doesn’t need to be cheated because death’s already been defeated. But this comes by faith. This comes by faith as Jesus reminds Martha, do you believe the question is just kind of hanging out there hanging for us to do calling for a response. So let’s look at our response. Last point. So Martha has some understanding, meaning in verse 27, I believe I do believe, right, I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God who has to come into the world, she does not know all of that means, but she has some understanding, at least, this side of the cross and the empty tomb, we have so much more understanding, like we know how we will be saved from death. We haven’t just seen the sign Lazarus, but the scenic view itself, Jesus rising triumphantly from the grave, so we have a sure and certain hope, do you believe? Well, so what exactly do we need to believe? Like, let’s parse this out a little bit? Who is this Messiah? Why did the Son of God come into the world? All these things that Martha says in verse 27? Let’s explain them what do we need to believe? First, we need to believe that God exists. God starts there, God exists. And he made us for himself. So we are his if he created us, we belong to Him. And death, interestingly, is actually one small evidence of that truth that God exists, specifically, the fact that we’re so uncomfortable with death that it feels so unnatural, why it shouldn’t feel unnatural, because we were made for eternity. So there’s just one small evidence we can talk about a lot of others that God exists, that we belong to Him. First thing we believe, but second thing we have to believe, is that we deserve death. Now, why do we deserve death? Because we all have rejected life and embraced death by rebelling against God. This is key to understand, because I keep saying that death isn’t natural. So then why is it here? Why do we experience it Because Romans 623, The wages of sin is death. Wages, that’s what you earn. That’s what you’re paid. You work 10 hours at $15 an hour, you get 150 bucks at the end of it. you sin against a good and gracious creator, by declaring war on him, and by conspiring to murder his son, you get paid at the end of it, what do you get paid eternal death. That’s what we’ve all earned. That’s what we deserve. But that takes us to the third thing we got to believe in. That’s why Jesus came into the world. That right there is why Jesus came into the world. He took our wages, he took our place. Our catechism question this morning, we talked about Jesus’s substitutionary, atoning sacrifice. Here’s the substitution, right? He took our wages, he took our paycheck, we get his paycheck, his paycheck is a whole lot better than ours. He took our punishment on himself, then he was raised to new life. Meaning he conquered sin and death, the cross, that’s the empty tomb. How does Paul say at First Corinthians 15, death has been swallowed up in victory. Where O Death is your victory where O Death is your sting. The sting of death is sin. And the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God. He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ breaks deaths things, because he breaks sins things. The law has no more power to condemn because the law is telling us what we earned what we deserved. But Jesus has already taken that on himself. He satisfied the law’s requirements. So there is therefore now no condemnation if we are in Christ, if we believe in Him, we can have the HOPE of eternal life with Christ unspeakable joy on ending praise, if we believe all of history hangs on this one historical fact. Did Jesus rise? Because if he did, that changes everything. And if he did, well, then we better respond. So how do we respond to this truth?
Well, I mentioned belief, of course, it’s kind of the big one, but I’m assuming most of you in the room right now believe already. So if you believe already, what’s the response? be comforted. be comforted. Your future is secure, and your present is transformed? Because of Christ’s victory. One of the things that’s transformed in the present is our grief even. We grieve Absolutely. Like Mary like Martha like Jesus, but we don’t grieve without hope. We grieve differently, because we know how the story ends. I think another point here is that we believe but that doesn’t mean that we won’t ever doubt. Like Mary and Martha, we can bring our questions to Jesus. Like he can handle our emotions, he can handle our doubts. And by the way, this is something we do as families like Mary and Martha, they took their questions to Jesus, we take our questions to Jesus to, there may be a point when your kids don’t know how to take questions to Jesus, yet they bring their questions to you. And then you show them how to bring those questions to Jesus is so when we talk when we don’t deny death to our kids, because we don’t need to, because death has been defeated. But so we bring our questions, we bring our doubts to Jesus, what did Mary and Martha both say, interestingly, verbatim, if you had been there, he wouldn’t have died. That’s not a statement. That’s an accusation, isn’t it? What are they saying? They’re saying, couldn’t this have gone differently? Lord, Who ever said that to God? Course you have, we all have couldn’t this have gone differently, Lord. But when we believe in the story of redemption, all that God is doing, and Christ the life and death and resurrection. We know that we have limitless reasons to trust God. We can trust him. He has reasons for our suffering. He even mentions it again back in verse for it and read it for us. But Jesus said, this sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory. So that God’s Son may be glorified through there’s a reason. There’s a reason we might not always like the reasons I’m not promising you that not for a moment, okay? But he has reasons and we can trust him. For those reasons. God might leave us in our suffering. Jesus did not raise a whole bunch of people who died during his lifetime. This is an exception. This is not the rule, he might leave us in it. But we remember we remember it doesn’t end in death. So we trust his wisdom. He knows what we need. Thomas Watson, the great Puritan preacher said God’s afflicting rod is a pencil to draw Christ image more distinctly upon us. And God knows what we need to have that image of Christ written on us. So that we might believe that’s verse 42. Right? I knew that you always hear me but I said this for the benefit of people standing here that they may believe that you sent me everything God does, he does so that His people will believe that might be a miracle. Like Lazarus. But more often than not, it’s not a miracle, like Lazarus. Part, because miracles can feed our ego, is actually take us away from God. Like we just start to treat God like that cosmic vending machine instead of trusting in Him as our personal Savior. One last point before we switch to the next group, for those of us who believe already, Lazarus is in so many ways, a picture of living in light of resurrection. Hope is not the point of this text. I don’t want to spiritualize the details of the narrative. But it is an interesting image for it. Because what happens at the end, Jesus says, take off his grave clothes and let him go like he can go live again. We’ve been freed from the grave too. We don’t need to have our grave clothes on all the time. We don’t need to keep denying death. In other words, we don’t need to try to make ourselves immortal because we know that we are already. So go and live in light of your immortality. But one thing we do there is living in light of what will ultimately last, like what will matter into eternity if we were made for eternity. I don’t know all that will ask him to return it. I know one thing for sure that will people we know people are immortal. CS Lewis said you have never met a mere mortal. That’s the truth. So we invest in people. You want the primary response to this story for the believer. It’s evangelism, isn’t it? We go talk to people who are striving in vain for immortality and let them know about the resurrection and the life that He is real. That he came for them. If that’s you, by the way, if you’re you’re doubting if you’re still seeking or skeptical, what’s your response? It’s this do the hard work. Do the hard work don’t be intellectually lazy. See, the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is overwhelming. And that’s in, in the face of the really obvious objection. It’s probably the objection you have to this story also, like it’s a great story. It’s very cool. Lots of good points that I could draw out of it right? The only problem with it is dead people don’t rise. Same problem with Jesus. Yes, that’s right. And they didn’t think back then either, because that’s what made them I will be intellectually lazy, like, look at what happens afterward, if you’re reading the same Bible that I have, or the Pew Bible, the next section is called the plot to kill Jesus. What a weird RESPONSE TO JESUS raising some dude from the grave. But why? Because after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, people started to believe in Jesus; you do that, wouldn’t you? And so the religious leaders got a little bit concerned about that and then conspired to kill him. This really is the turning point that results in Jesus’s eventual crucifixion. But you see the point? There was a response. Why did all these people start to believe in Jesus so intensely that the religious leaders had to kill him? You got to make sense of how that all happened. What was the initial cause the miracle, you get to do the same thing with Jesus’s resurrection? Why does the church exist? There’s only one possible explanation for a group of people, a small ragtag band of followers, to transform the world. That’s something big. That’s the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And again, they weren’t expecting it. They weren’t looking for it. So they wouldn’t have hallucinated into existence. We just heard what Martha said, I know people rise at the last day. They don’t do it before then. They’re not gullible. They weren’t superstitious by nature. They were just like us. And yet they believed why we have to make sense of that. So if you’re doubting and seeking, maybe even now you feel something happening inside of you. If that’s where you are, take the step. We just walk through what to believe that God exists made you for himself, that you’ve sinned, rebelled against him and deserve death. But that’s why Jesus came to save sinners like you, do you believe? Will you believe? Believe what is our main idea, it’s not a fancy main idea by any means. But this is the takeaway from today, believe this, that you were not meant to die. So believe in the resurrection and the life. You were not meant to die. Like what I’m saying there’s go ahead and trust your, I want to say instincts, which is kind of funny, because instincts can send us in a different direction. But trust your gut on this, that sense of I don’t think I’m supposed to die. That’s right. That’s real. Trust that your desire for immortality is real. And God-given Ecclesiastes says God placed eternity in our hearts. That’s why you have that feeling. So trust that. And then take it a step further and believe in the resurrection and the life. I mean, two things by that believe in the possibility of resurrection and eternal life, believe in those facts, but also believe in the resurrection and the Life capital L, our capital L. Believe in Jesus, the one who provides resurrection and life for us. You and I will die physically. unless Jesus comes again before that happens. We’ll talk more about that next week. That knowledge that we will die that those we love will die haunts us and colors all that we do. But Jesus is the resurrection and the life. So we can be freed from our fear of death are futile attempts to cheat or deny it. We can be like Lazarus. We can get up, throw off the grave clothes and go by His perfect life. And substitutionary death and triumphant resurrection, we can know the hope, and resurrection for ourselves. You were not meant to die. So believe in Jesus, the resurrection and the life. Let’s pray.
Lord, we know that you made us for yourself that you made us to be in unending eternal fellowship with you. We feel it in our heart of hearts. That’s why we don’t think death is right. Help us to lean into that gut feeling. And to look beyond that to what it’s pointing to, to the fact the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And how eternity shaking in eternity shaping that truth is, may it shake and shape our lives even now. May we believe in it, and, believing in it, may we live different lives. No longer foolishly striving to leave our mark after we’re gone. But living for Your glory and for the good of your kingdom, loving those around us that you put in our lives because we know we and they will go on forever. Help us to live in light of the resurrection and the life as we trust in Him, who is the resurrection in the life. It’s in his name we pray, Amen. Amen.

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