The Story of Lazarus Reminds Us: We Can Trust His Timing And Power
Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, September 13, 2016
We are focusing on getting to know God from the perspective of John the beloved.
Today’s Scripture Focus: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” (John 11:25).
It is no exaggeration to say that death is the worst of all enemies! It breaks up families at higher rates than divorce. When it comes through war, it devastates economies. It is the most elusive terrorist against which nobody can defend. There is no person anywhere in the world that can hide from it as it stalks our every footstep. All are equal in the sight of death. Billionaires and absolutely impoverished people, both succumb when death comes knocking at the door.
Jesus Has Authority Over Death
At a time of greatest difficulty in the lives of a few friends, Jesus demonstrated His authority over death. Although, He did not move in the way they expected, He awed them in the end. His friend Lazarus was sick and dying. Lazarus’s sisters sent word to Jesus to alert Him to the fact, so He could hurry to his bedside. Instead of rushing, Jesus waited until he was dead four days to show up. God’s ways are not our ways!
Lazarus’ sister immediately met him as He entered the town. She said if Jesus had gotten there days before, her brother would not have died. What a true statement that was. God’s ways are not our ways! Jesus waited until Lazarus was dead four days and decomposition was setting in before He approached the situation.
He asked Lazarus’ sister whether she believed that He could raise her dear brother. And in what she thought was great faith, she said of course He could do it on resurrection day, thousands of years in the future.
This is where Jesus announces the limitlessness of His power. “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). You see, while the family believed that Jesus could have prevented their beloved’s death, and even believed that Jesus could raise Him from the dead, they had a prescription in mind of how His power worked. They basically believed that if Jesus allowed him to die, he was doomed to stay dead until the resurrection of all faithful people.
Transformed Into The Vigor Of Youth
Jesus’ statement that He is Life itself changed the focus altogether. Since Jesus is Life, there is no limit of time or space on His ability to give life to whomever He wills. God’s ways are not our ways!
In a most astounding moment, Jesus commanded that those standing by approach Lazarus’s tomb, and roll away the stone covering its’ mouth. The stench from his rotting corpse must have been nauseating. Jesus lifted up His voice and called Lazarus from his rotting, lifeless state into the vigor of youth. Are you paying attention? He then commanded that they loose him from his burial wraps and let him free.
There are times in our lives that we face completely impossible circumstances. Our impossible extremes are just the beginning of God’s demonstration of power. Neither death nor our worst life trials have any real power in our lives when we are submitted to God like Lazarus was. It is true that God will allow things to buffet us for a season, but one day, if we remain faithful, He will command that all be loosed from us as we emerge in the vigor of youth.
Don’t write a prescription for God as you seek His power in your life. Trust me, He knows exactly what He is doing. When Jesus returns, ask Lazarus and his sisters. They know.