A Promise without the ability to achieve it, is simply a fantasy. God does not engage in “wishful thinking.” Our Lord Jesus has said…
John 11:25-26 NLT - I am the resurrection and the source of all life; those who believe in Me will live even in death. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never truly die. Do you believe this?
Then he demonstrated the Commitment of His Divine Power to overcoming Death by raising his friend Lazarus, who had been dead and buried for four days…
John 11:39, 41, 43-44 NIV78 - “Take away the stone,” he said... 41 So they took away the stone… 43 Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out…
What a moment that must have been!! A moment of mercy and triumph, of Grace and Healing, of Hope and Deliverance, of Rescue and Recovery, of Restoration and Resurrection! But Beloved, may I remind you of something this morning? Lazarus is not here with us today. J He actually tasted death twice. His family had to have two funerals for him. Somehow, I suspect that the second funeral felt a little different than the first. J Do you think maybe there was a little more HOPE the second time they laid him in the ground?
Lazarus did not rise by his own power. Lazarus is not the first-fruits of our hope and life. Lazarus is just like us, a friend of Jesus who succumbs to the brokenness of a fallen world and ultimately goes into the grave… utterly dependent upon the Power of the Resurrection and the Life that is JESUS HIMSELF!
The miracle of Lazarus is a wonderful grace, it encourages our Faith and emboldens our hope. However, our Hope does not lie with a dead man in the tomb, our Hope rests in the LIVING CHRIST WHO HAS BROKEN THE POWER OF DEATH, BECAUSE HE IS HIMSELF LIFE AND RESURRECTION. Our Hope does not rest on the man wrapped in burial cloths, but ON THE ONE CALLING LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS AND LIFE OUT OF DEATH…OUR HOPE IS BUILT ON CHRIST AND CHRIST ALONE! It is the RESURRECTION OF JESUS that exerted the great power of Life over Death and Light over Darkness. It is JESUS CHRIST who demonstrated His Authority and Ability to Rule over ALL THINGS and EVERY ONE. This is our Hope, as the old Lutheran Hymn says…
“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.”
1 Peter 1:3 NIV84 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…
Dr. Tobey Montgomery