Sunday Preview: The Resurrection and the Life

The story of Lazarus's resurrection seems especially fitting as we end our sermon series on Longing for Something More. It tells the truth that death is not the end. All the events in John 11 are just days before the cross, bringing a wonderful message of life, faith, and love to the forefront.

The backdrop is set as Jesus retreated across the Jordan to escape persecution and decided to return to Judea despite the disciples' objections—our Lord journeys back to Bethany, prompted by the death of Lazarus. Here, we encounter the first theme of the story: Humiliation. Against all reasons to stay away, Jesus chooses to confront the sorrow head-on, visiting Bethany, where Lazarus had been dead for four days and a crowd had gathered in mourning. This act of returning illustrates a deliberate choice to embrace humanity's deepest pain: the loss of a loved one.

As Martha meets Jesus outside Bethany, we are ushered into a moment of revelation. Her interaction with Jesus reveals her faith and her struggle to grasp the fullness of who He is. When Jesus proclaims, "I am the resurrection and the life," He reveals a groundbreaking truth that challenges the conventional understanding of life and death. This statement is not merely about the final resurrection but a present reality that those who believe in Him, though they may die physically, will live on spiritually. This revelation asks us a critical question about belief and the promise of eternal life beyond physical death.

As we witness Martha's confession, "I believe, " things take a significant turn." Her declaration is a powerful acknowledgment of faith in Jesus' identity and His promise of eternal life. Here, we're reminded of the human side of our salvation—belief. Through belief, death is abolished, echoing the triumphant declaration in 1 Corinthians 15:54-55, where death is swallowed up in victory, its sting rendered powerless.

As Jesus moves closer to the tomb, we encounter heartfelt love. Mary and the mourners' reactions draw Jesus into a moment of empathy and compassion, showcasing His humanity. His tears are not just an expression of sorrow but a testament to His deep love for Lazarus and humankind. This moment of weeping reveals that at the heart of this miracle is not just the display of divine power but an intimate expression of divine love.

The climax of Lazarus’s resurrection is not just about bringing a dead man back to life, but a reflection of the more significant resurrection Jesus offers to all. Jesus came to bring life in its most abundant form. Do we believe in Jesus, who claims to be the resurrection and the life? Will we reach out to Him in faith? In reflecting on the resurrection of Lazarus, we're invited to reconsider our understanding of life, death, and the afterlife. This story offers us a glimpse into the heart of Jesus' mission on earth—to grant eternal life through belief in Him.
On Sunday, we’ll embrace the hope it brings that in Jesus, death is not the end but a doorway to eternal life. This is the most excellent news ever coming into this world, a message of eternal hope that continues to resonate across ages, calling each of us to believe and find life in Him.
As you prepare for Sunday, answer these five questions:
  • How does the story of Lazarus’s resurrection challenge or reinforce your personal beliefs about life after death?
  • How does Jesus’ statement, “I am the resurrection and the life,” impact understanding His identity and mission?
  • How do Martha and Mary’s reactions to Jesus before Lazarus is raised from the dead reflect different aspects of faith and doubt?
  • What does Jesus's emotional response (weeping) at Lazarus’s tomb tell us about the nature of divine compassion and empathy?
  • How can the themes of humiliation, revelation, belief, and love found in the story of Lazarus’s resurrection be applied to contemporary Christian life and practice?

Those Serving

Kody Pritt
Roy Pyle
Collin Schofield
Greg Morrison
Josh Childers
Justin Spargo
Bob Zehring
Kody Pritt

Drew Triplett
John 11:25-26

Matthew Allen
Mark Ringle
George Wacks
Connie Walker / Tina Jacobs
David Williams / Paul Braden
Rich Walker
Hannah Walker
Ben Baker
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