Bible, Jesus

Look at the Lamb (Day 11)


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Day 11 – Mairi

Summary of Chapter 11

Verses 1-16: News comes to Jesus that Lazarus, the brother of Mary (the woman who poured ointment on Jesus feet) and Martha, has become ill. Jesus loves this family and, as he takes the disciples to their village, he tells them that Lazarus has died but that his resurrection will be for God’s glory and their belief.

Verses 17-27: Upon reaching the village they learn that Lazarus has been dead for four days and the house is now filled with mourners. Martha comes out to speak to Jesus and says to Him that He could have prevented her brother’s death but Jesus wants her to understand something far deeper – His signs and wonders represent something far greater than an act in the natural world. He wanted Martha to see that faith in him as the Christ would lead to resurrection into eternal life. Martha declares that He is the Saviour of the world!

Verses 28-37: Mary then leaves the grieving house and falls at Jesus feet, repeating what her sister has already said to Jesus,

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

So moved by the mourning that he sees around him, and the loss of His friend, Jesus weeps. The shortest but, perhaps, the most revealing verse in the Bible as to the tender-hearted nature of God. The question hanging over the whole scene is asked, ‘could Jesus not have prevented this death?’.

Verses 38-44: Jesus is moved deeply by this family tragedy and asks for the tomb to be opened. Ever practical Martha is quick to remind Jesus about what a corpse after four days would involve but Jesus wants her, and those around him, to focus on God and not on the apparent problem. Jesus prays to the Father and then, in a loud voice, commands Lazarus to walk out of the tomb. And the miraculous happens. The dead man simply walks out of his tomb! We can think of this as a foretaste of 1 Thessalonians 4:16:

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.

Verses 45-57: Lazarus’ miraculous resurrection drastically divides opinion all around Jesus. As a result some believe in him, while others turn to the Pharisees and chief priests. Sadly we see, once again, that the spiritual leaders of the day are far removed from spiritual understanding. They are more concerned with maintaining their traditions and their culture. God has already prophesied through Caiaphas the high priest that Jesus will die and his death will gather together the children of God. Missing the point entirely, the leaders want Jesus arrested and killed and are keen to bring about that which only God will do.

Key Thoughts From Chapter 11

– It’s worth thinking about this for just a moment – Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after four days in the tomb. Dead! Four days! This must have been one of, if not the most, incredible miracles to have witnessed. Yet, amazingly, some still remain unconvinced or unsure what to do with this sign. Jesus told the disciples that this would be an act that would ultimately glorify God and also help their own belief in him. (Our most pressing need).
Lazarus’s death and resurrection would point to something far greater, to Jesus’ own death and resurrection. This would bring more than just life in the physical sense to those who believe, it would bring life eternal in a fully restored relationship with God. As incredible as Lazarus’ resurrection was, what Jesus offers through his own resurrection blows that out the water!
– For me, Martha is a character who feels easy to identify with in many ways. Early in the chapter we read of her incredible conversation with Jesus. While the spiritual leaders struggle with Jesus’ identity, Martha has seen God and knows it. Her words are faith-filled and inspired. She believes that Jesus is the Son of God, come to rescue the world and she knows that he could have provided a miracle for her brother. And yet, just a few moments later, the practicalities of a dead body have become more significant than Jesus standing right by her side. How often do we do this: Declare something with our mouths but then act in a way that does not reflect our faith-filled words and become overwhelmed by the problems around us? And all Jesus is wanting to say to us is,
“did I not tell you that if you believe you would see the glory of God?”
– It is amazing to see Jesus’ own emotions clearly on display in this passage, to the point where he even cries with those who were mourning. What an incredible picture! Jesus was deeply affected by the grief that he saw around him. He experienced the pain of a lost loved one. He really gets it. Jesus really understands our pain, sadness, grief, confusion and hurt. He is closer to our experiences than we often think and when we share these with him, He understands.

Prayers from Chapter 11

Jesus, thank you that you are the worker of miracles and that you came to bring resurrection into eternal life with you. We pray that you would make us people of faith, in word and in action, and that we would remember that you are truly, all-powerful, above all things.

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