Click Here for Part 1 of this Sermon on Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life
III. Jesus with Martha
17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.
18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off;
19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.
20 Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house.
21 Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
Do we detect maybe a hint of blame in her statement? – Perhaps. Another similar incident when Martha seems to find fault with Jesus is…
· Luke 10:40
40 But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.”
So, in this instance, Martha was surely disappointed that Jesus had arrived seemingly too late to be of any assistance to Lazarus and maybe was even a little upset with Him.
· There are times in our lives too when we don’t receive from the Lord the outcome that we really desire. How should we respond at these times? Should we be upset at the Lord and blame Him for not making things happen according to our plan or our timetable? Of course not!
It is certainly true that God does desire to be and is very gracious to His children.
· Isa 30:18
Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.
· But sometimes we get it confused and think that God exists to do our will when quite the opposite is true. He created us to glorify Himself and to do His will.
· Ps 40:8
8 I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart.”
So it seems here that Martha needed to adjust her thinking a bit and focus on her role as serving Christ rather than viewing Christ being there to serve her. Hey, could it be that you and we might need to make this same adjustment in our thinking?
22 “Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”
· Jesus makes some dramatic claims about Himself, but they aren’t empty words, He demonstrates their truth to us.
o Light of the world à opens the eyes of the man born blind
o Good Shepherd à lays down His life
o Way, truth, and the life à provides our only access to God
o Bread of life à feeds 5,000 men plus women and children
· So when in this passage Jesus claims to be the Resurrection and the life, it is not at all surprising that He backs up that claim with some dramatic proof!
IV. Jesus with Mary
I’ll simply read verses 28-32 with little comment as Jesus exchange with Mary is fairly similar to his earlier conversation with Martha.
28 When she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”
29 And when she heard it, she got up quickly and was coming to Him.
30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him.
31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
32 Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled,
34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”
35 Jesus wept.
36 So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!”
37But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?”
· In the English it appears that Jesus was weeping just like the mourners who were present, but a different word is used in the Greek. Their weeping is “klaio” (klay’-yo) which means to wail aloud. It is uncontrolled and denotes hopelessness.
· Jesus weeping is dakruo (dak-roo’-o); from NT:1144; to shed tears: (usually silently). He deeply cared for Lazarus, but would also be moved by this very tangible evidence of sin – death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom 6:23a
V. Jesus at the Tomb
38 So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.
39 Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
· Once again we see more second guessing and objections from Martha.
· Jesus graciously reassures her and perhaps gives her a mild rebuke that if she believed, she would see the glory of God
Martha then assents and allows the opening of the tomb.
VI. Jesus’ prayer and the answer
41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, ” Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
42 “I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.”
43 When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.”
44 The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
45 Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him.
46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.
· Jesus didn’t make a big show of it like some charlatans that can’t perform any miracle. He didn’t have a long prayer or give a long sermon. He merely issued the simple and straightforward command for Lazarus to come forth. The miracle would speak for itself. Immediately Lazarus responded and walked out of the tomb even though he was still completely bound with wrappings! Lazarus had been loosed from the cords of death. His body had been restored to life, but it was still a mortal body and one day would again succumb to death.
· It would be only a mere matter of days before Jesus himself would die and then as the first fruits rise victoriously from the dead. Jesus’ resurrection body though would be immortal, never to die again.
· After Lazarus emerges from the tomb, Jesus immediately involves the group of mourners that were present in the miracle. He commands them to unbind him and let him go. Earlier, he had directed them to remove the stone that sealed the tomb. By having them participate in the miracle, they could be sure of its authenticity.
· John gives us no details of the joyous reunion with his sisters or any information on Lazarus’ second life, but one thing he does tell is the two different responses of those who firsthand witnessed this incredible miracle.
o Thefirst response John relates is the response that you would expect from someone who actually witnessed this awesome miracle. Since it was obvious that only the power of God could raise the dead, they humbled themselves and believed in Jesus!
o It’shard to imagine being present when Lazarus was raised from the dead and having any response other than believing in Jesus, but there were some present who refused to believe. Instead they went and reported to Jesus’ enemies the Pharisees all that Jesus had done.
· Today, we look incredulously at their response! How could they possibly reject the Savior after being a firsthand witness (and even participant) to such an amazing miracle?
· And how could the Pharisees, after hearing the report plot to kill not only Jesus but also Lazarus because he was living proof that Jesus had raised him from the dead?
· Only a few days later, after Jesus’ crucifixion, these same Pharisees heard the report from the guards that Jesus had risen from the dead just as He promised that He would. How could they bribe the guards to get them to lie and say that the disciples had stolen His body? How could they possibly not only reject the truth, but actively suppress it to prevent others from hearing it?
· How is it possible indeed? Jesus tells us how. He says…
19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
· How is it possible? It’s not difficult at all for men who need to be born again to new life in the Lord when they love darkness and hate the light. In fact, it’s quite normal and natural. To do otherwise would be to act against their nature. Folks, the truth is, it’s unnatural for anyone to turn away from his sin and turn to the Lord. For that to happen requires that God to perform a miracle in his heart to override his old sinful nature.
· Today, people fall into the same two categories as they did in Jesus’ day. Friends, there is no neutrality. Everyone either makes the decision to believe and align himself with God or he chooses to remain in Satan’s camp as an enemy of God.
· If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are just as spiritually dead as Lazarus was physically dead. Neither Lazarus nor you have the power in yourself to have life. You simply cannot save yourself. Jesus Christ alone can give you life. He alone is the resurrection and the life. He alone is the way the truth and the life and
12 “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
· I’m going to ask our worship team to come up now to lead us in the final song.
· While we are singing, several of us will be standing up front to be available to counsel with. There are many here today who are without Jesus Christ in their lives and others who have a specific prayer need. We will be available to pray with you or counsel with you about how you can be born again to new life in Christ. Won’t you turn from your life of sin and give your life to the Savior today?
Click Here for Part 1 of this Sermon on Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life