JESUS, THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE!

[SW288] 07/07/2017 message notes by

Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2017

“Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life”

Text: John 11:1-46

Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life, the Raised One and the One who raises, the Possessor of Life as God has it, and the Giver of that life, to all who believe into Him!

As with Ezra and the Levites in Nehemiah 8:8, the Lord has asked me to go through these verses, to show you what He has shown me. So, this will be more of a Bible study than a sermon.

Verses 1-3 — Martha and Mary hosted Jesus and His disciples when they came to Jerusalem. Bethany was about two miles from the city (see Verse 18).

This Mary was the one who anointed Jesus’ and wiped His feet with her hair (see Luke 7:38). Lazarus, who was Martha and Mary’s brother, was weak and diseased. And here are the fingerprints of the Holy Spirit — his name means “one whom God helps.” Hallelujah! God would indeed help him!

So the sisters sent word to Jesus. They knew He could heal Lazarus. The words of their message reveal their understanding. They said, “Lord, behold, he whom you love is sick.”

The “behold” speaks of the urgency of the situation. The “love” is phileo in the Greek, and means “brotherly love, friendship.” It was their only understanding of love. But we will see that Jesus loves in a way they do not yet know.

Verse 4 — When Jesus heard, He said that Lazarus’ illness would not end in death. He did not say, “Lazarus will not die,” but that the entire situation would not END in death. Instead, it will be for “the glory of God, so the Son of God may be glorified by it.”

Verse 5-6 — Now we see how Jesus loved! It was with agape, God’s actual love, not a human form of love at all. It is the love God pours out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, when we are filled with Him!

Therefore, because He loved them with God’s actual love, He did what seems contrary to us. He purposely stayed two days longer before coming to Lazarus’ aid.  He would come to Lazarus, but not to heal him.

The scope of God the Father and God the Son’s love is much greater! And He wants you, beloved, to be filled with Him so you understand the height, depth, length and width of His love (Ephesians 3:18)!

What He was about to do would affect Lazarus, but it was for the salvation of many, because when God the Father and God the Son are glorified by miraculous works, many come to faith in Jesus Christ!

Remember Jesus’ promise —

John 11:4  . . . He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”

Verses 7-10 — After the two additional days, He said, “Let’s go!” The disciples were concerned for Jesus’ and their own safety, for the Jews sought to kill Him.

Then Jesus spoke of the Jewish leaders’ lack of light.  They walked by the world’s light (in the day), and could see only in the natural.

So when Jesus Christ came and shed His light for all to see, the truth that the Jewish leaders walked in spiritual darkness (in the night) was revealed. They had no spiritual light in them. So they stumbled (sinned) by seeking to kill God the Son, who stood in front of them, who was the Son of the God they worshiped, and who was the fulfillment of the scriptures they claimed to know!

Verses 11-15 — The disciples’ response to Jesus’ words highlights their lack of understanding. Jesus said Lazarus had fallen asleep, but Jesus was going to wake him up! They thought Jesus meant literal sleep, and not the sleep of death. They said, then, he will recover (be saved).

So Jesus plainly stated that Lazarus had died. How did He know? He had not seen Lazarus yet! But Jesus was God the Son, and knew. He was continuously, intimately linked to His Father. He knew the plan that was about to unfold, for God’s glory and His glory, too!

So He said He was glad, for the sakes of His disciples, that He didn’t immediately go to Lazarus and heal him. Why? So that by what He was about to do, they might believe INTO Him. Then He told them it was time to go.

What do I mean by “into” Him? Oh, beloved, it is not just a mental assent, but it is being brought out of your darkness and into His marvelous light (1Peter 2:9)! It is a “going out” from life as you know it, and entering into life in the Son (1John 5:11)! Oh, the excellence of Him! PRAISE BREAK!

Verse 16 — Thomas words reflected the thinking of them all. This trip to Bethany would result in the deaths of Jesus and them. They did not believe in and trust the words of Jesus:

John 11:4  . . . He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”

Verse 17-19 — Jewish understanding of death was that if someone died, their spirit remained in their body for three days, so it was possible for that person to be raised up from death (as with the Old Testament prophets, Elijah and Elisha). But on the fourth day, the spirit was no longer in the body, so it would be absolutely impossible to raise a person from the dead, if he had been dead for four days.

So Lazarus had been dead four days. It was impossible for him to be brought back. But remember Verse 4, when Jesus said this sickness would not END in death, but that God would be glorified by something that was about to happen!

I tell you, no situation is beyond Jesus’ ability, and He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)! Do you believe His words?

The Jewish leaders had come to comfort Martha and Mary, since Bethany was so close to Jerusalem. God set the stage for them to see His great works, through God the Son!

Verse 20-22 — Martha heard Jesus was coming, and went to meet Him. Mary stayed at their house.

Then Martha spoke words that reflected her lack of trust and belief in Jesus promise from Verse 4. If Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died. That was true. But she did not trust the promise He had given her —

John 11:4  . . . He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”

Yet she also said, “Whatever You ask of God, He will give You.” There was a slight ray of hope in her heart, that perhaps God could do something, anything!

Verses 23-24 — Jesus told Martha that her brother would rise again. He would be resurrected! But Martha did not believe Him. She did not believe in or trust Jesus’ promise in Verse 4.

John 11:4  . . . He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”

She only believed that Lazarus would be resurrected on the last day, in the day of God’s judgment.

Verses 25-26 — But Jesus says these words now, just as He said it then —  I AM! I am God the Son, the voice from the burning bush (Exodus 3:14)!

And He says now, just as He said then, I AM the Resurrection and the Life, the Raised One and the One who raises, the Possessor of Life as God has it, and the Giver of that life, to all who believe into Him!

Do you believe that He was a philosopher or someone who did good deeds and whose prayers God answered? Then you will not believe His promise in impossible situations. You must believe He is GOD, enter life in Him, and then you will believe His words, knowing that all things are possible to those who believe (Mark 9:23)!

He says now, just as He said then, that the one who believes in Him will live even if he dies, just as He spoke in John 5  —

John 5:24   “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. 25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”

They will live now, with God’s eternal life in them, and their bodies will also be raised up at the end of things, when final judgment comes upon all mankind (see John 5:28-29)!

EVERYONE who believes into Him will NEVER die because they have His life within them! Their bodies will fall away and be resurrected on the last day, but spiritually, they will be alive and with the Lord (2Corinthians 5:8), from the moment their bodies die!

Then He asked Martha if she believed what He had just said.

Verse 27 — Martha still did not trust His promise in Verse 4, because she did not answer His question. She told Him she believed He is the Christ, the Son of God, He who came into the world, the Coming One of whom the prophets prophesied.

She did not say she believed what He had just spoken to her — that everyone who lives (who has His life in them) because they believe into Him will never die. And she did not believe His words that He had sent by messenger to her.

John 11:4  . . . He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”

Verses 28-31— Then she went away and lied to Mary, saying the Lord had asked for her. So Mary got up and came to Him. Jesus was still in the place where Martha had left Him.
The Jewish leaders, who had no light in them, thought she was going to Lazarus’ tomb to weep, so they followed her.

Verses 32-34  — When she saw Jesus, Mary fell at His feet, and repeated the same words of unbelief as Martha. If Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died. She, too, had forgotten Jesus’ promise —

John 11:4  . . . He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”

She was weeping, as were the Jews who followed her there.

What was Jesus’ response? He was deeply ANGERED! “Deeply moved in spirit,” means to snort with anger, to be moved with anger! Why? Unbelief! They had not believed His promise to them.

He asked where Lazarus had been laid. Come and see, they said.

Verse 35 — Jesus wept. He shed tears. He was so deeply grieved by their unbelief that tears filled His eyes and rolled down His cheeks.

Oh, beloved, this is God’s heart! He is deeply grieved when we do not believe His words!

Verse 36-37 — So the Jews completely misread Jesus. It was because He loved Lazarus that He wept. Again, it is not agape that they speak of, but human love, the love between friends.

Then they judge Him. Jesus had opened the eyes of the man born blind. Why didn’t He come when He should have, so Lazarus would not have died!

Verse 38 — Jesus was again deeply grieved to the point of snorting with anger, moved with anger! He arrived at the tomb, which was in a cave, with a large stone lying against it.

Verse 39 — He commanded that the stone be removed. Again, Martha spoke words of unbelief. Lazarus had been dead four days, so there would be a terrible smell! She did not believe that God had already been at work in Lazarus’ body, and that it had not decayed! She did not believe Jesus’ words —

John 11:4  . . . He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”

Verse 40 — So Jesus rebuked her! Did I not say to you? What was My promise? If you believe, if you simply TRUST Me, you will see God’s glory! It is as true today as it was then!

Do you believe? Do you trust? Do you understand that Jesus is God the Son?

Do you believe that He is the Resurrection and the Life, the Risen One and the One who raises, the Possessor of life as God has it and the Giver of that Life?

Verses 41-42 — They removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes and prayed to His Father. He thanked God the Father that He had heard His Son. These words are in the past tense. Jesus had already prayed and asked. His Father had already heard.

His Father always heard Him, as He walked the earth. He had already prayed. But He spoke it out loud because of those who were gathered around Him, so they might believe into Him, that He is who He says He is, and that they would trust His words.

Verses 43-44 — Lazarus, come forth! If Jesus says it, then it must be done! So Lazarus came out, bound with the burial cloths. And Jesus said, remove the burial cloths and let Lazarus go!

Oh, beloved, that all mankind may have their deadness removed and their eyes opened to see Jesus! He would forgive their sins and then free them from the sin that binds them. A day of judgment is coming (John 5:28-29)! For those who follow Jesus, it will be a resurrection of life, and for those who disobey Him, a resurrection of judgment.

Verses 45-46 — So, God was glorified, wasn’t He? And the result? Many of the Jews saw what Jesus had done, and believed into Him!

How amazing it is that even after this miracle never before performed by anyone, some went to the Pharisees to report what Jesus had done! There are those with hard hearts, who will not believe even if they see impossible things made possible by the power of God. And it is the same today.

Will you believe into Jesus today?

Will you enter life as God has it?

Will you believe Jesus’ words?

If you do, you will be raised by the One who raises, and you will have in you, here and now, life as God has it, for Jesus is the Giver of that life!