Monday, June 06, 2016

Dead Man Returns

A rotting corpse is alive again and yet you still do not believe?!?

 

John 11:43-48  Then Jesus shouted, "Lazarus, come out!"  44  And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a head cloth. Jesus told them, "Unwrap him and let him go!"  45  Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen.  46  But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council together. "What are we going to do?" they asked each other. "This man certainly performs many miraculous signs.  48  If we allow Him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in Him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation."

John 12:17-19  Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising Him from the dead, and they were telling others about it.  18  That was the reason so many went out to meet Him--because they had heard about this miraculous sign.  19  Then the Pharisees said to each other, "There's nothing we can do. Look, everyone has gone after Him!"

They asked for proof that Jesus is God and now they have the most amazing display of Jesus power and yet it didn't make any difference to so many. If any miracle should have resulted in every person present falling on his face and worshiping Jesus as God then this would have to be the one.

Four days of decomposing causes a body to do gross and smelly things that you don't want to think about. The Jewish culture back then didn't do anything to embalm the corpse, they wrapped the body and sprinkled spices on it to cover up the stink. This is the condition that Lazarus was in when the tomb was opened and yet this smelly corpse gets up and walks out and his decomposition is completely reversed.

Jesus asked Martha, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” Through this miracle she saw the glory of God on display through Jesus but not everyone did. Other people that saw the same event were not convinced at all. They reacted by reporting what Jesus did to the guys that are "in charge."

These two responses to Jesus bringing Lazarus back from the dead is a clear demonstration of the way we react to Jesus today:

If we believe in Jesus then we will see the glory of God

John 1:14  So the Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father's one and only Son.
Jesus said that Martha's faith would make her see, the writer of Hebrews tells us that faith is the evidence of things not seen, Paul told us in Romans 1:20 that we have no excuse. There is only one reason some people are so blind to the truth, Jesus tells us why, it is because we love the dark and prefer to be there and our adversary has blinded their eyes. (John 3:19, 8:12)

When John is writing down Jesus words that they would see the glory of God, he must have recalled his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration,  the incredible experience must have been a dramatic and life changing event.

Our inability to see God's glory is because we can be so full of our own glory, our pride and arrogance, our inability to see how disgusting our goodness is, distorts our view of God.

If we see miracles without believing then we are in great danger.

Hebrews 12:25  Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven.
They were “good church-goers” but they didn't have a relationship with God. They could not see and believe that Jesus is God. What further proof of God’s power could you want than to smell the stench of the rotting body as they rolled the stone from the tomb? You can see Lazarus laying there right where they put him four days ago, you hear Jesus’ loud command to come out of the grave and then you see him stumble out in his grave clothes without any signs of the decomposition that you just witnessed.

The writer of Hebrews warns us that we are in great danger if we refuse the evidence that God gives us. The Israelites refused the evidence and would not listen to Moses, in Jesus day he was ignored and rejected as the Messiah, and now we have even greater evidence yet so many of us don't see it.

The evidence of fulfilled prophecy, including over 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled, we have the eyewitness accounts of His teaching and miracles and we have an empty tomb, backed up by the changed lives of the witnesses that testify that he did come back from the grave.

Can you consider the evidence and come to the conclusion that Jesus is God? No greater evidence will be given before the moment that it is too late. Some day you will realize that Jesus is God. Make the right choice before it is too late!