Bringing the Dead Back to Life

In the weeks leading up to his death, Jesus visited his friends in Bethany. The events of that visit have profound implications for our lives.

The story of Lazarus is symbolic of our lives. You can read it in John 11:1-12:18. We were dead and Jesus raised us up. The story of Lazarus is also symbolic of the journey God wants for everyone living outside his love.

Here are a few observations:

God is hopelessly and forever in love with the human race – Besides his disciples, Mary, Martha and Lazarus were perhaps Jesus’ best friends. Lazarus got very sick. His life was on the line. Mary and Martha sent a simple message to Jesus. “Lord, the one you love is sick.” They knew what moved Jesus. It wasn’t their love and devotion to him; it was his love for them.

Lazarus was dead. Not only was Lazarus dead. He was dead for four days. He was really dead. I wonder if we look out amongst our friends and family and neighbors if we see people who are living spiritually dead. It may seem hopeless to us but it’s not to Jesus.

Friends need to roll away the stone. Jesus asked Lazarus’ friends to take away the stone. Lazarus was dead on the inside. Jesus was speaking on the outside, but there was something blocking the message. The stone had to be rolled away. From this story, we discover there is something we can do for our friends that are separated form God. We can remove the barriers and roll away the stone of performance, the stone of distraction, the stone of fear, the stone of selfishness and the stone of intimidation.

Jesus raised Lazarus to life. Jesus is in the miracle business. He is in the saving business. He brings dead things and dead people back to life.

Friends helped him get out of his grave clothes. Christianity is never about perfection. It’s about grace, forgiveness, encouragement and love. Jesus called Lazarus out of the grace but he asked Lazarus’ friends to free from the things that bound him. He was resurrected but he still carried the odor of his previous condition. That’s what the community of a church is all about. Life is the journey of living out the freedom Jesus provides.

Lazarus’ transformation was an attraction. A large crowd gathered to see Lazarus. A transformed life is always an attraction. Your transformed life is an attraction. You’ve probably touched more lives than you could ever imagine already!

Lazarus pointed people to Jesus – Lazarus didn’t need to debate the facts or argue to convince people of his beliefs. All he needed to do was live his transformed life! All you need to do is tell the story about what Jesus has done for you. You don’t need to have all the answers just extend an invitation. This Easter weekend would you join us in inviting your friends, family and neighbors to hear about the transformational love of Jesus?

We can’t wait to see you and your friends this weekend!