“The Sign of the Tomb”
If you are a visual thinker, like me, then God help you because we have the tendency to see life as a portrait. We pick our favorite scene in life and ask the world to stop spinning but life is not a portrait it is a series of changing scenes, what Solomon called “seasons”. We live in this constantly changing world and our human nature wants to paint an ideal portrait and believe that this is the way it will always be. Irwin McManus wrote, “To live our lives fully, we must not only dream and discover, but we must also be ready and willing to continually adapt. If dreaming is about imagining a future worth pursuing, and exploring is about curiosity and continuous learning, then the next critical attribute for living at our highest level is choosing to adapt – to continually reinvent ourselves.”
II. John 11:1-45 Another declaration and the 7th sign.
I will use one of our standard methods today as we investigate this well known account from the Gospel of John. We will look at the timing and location of the event (this gives us context). We will look at who was involved (this gives us target audience). We will look at the results of the scene (what God accomplished).
B. Timing and location of the event: At the end of chapter 10 we read, “And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed.” ________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________
C. Who was involved: Obviously Lazarus and his family are the key participants in this scene other than Jesus Himself. God was going to use this family that He loved to bring glory to Himself. He chose what we would call a tragedy as the stage for his seventh sign, according to John’s chronology.
1. Lazarus – a rich man, well known in the community and someone who had a close personal relationship with Jesus. _______________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________ 2. The disciples are in the scene and they are letting fear lead the way. Jesus will have to reenter the region where people are trying to kill Him. The disciples voice their displeasure and concern and Thomas gives us the insight that he was fearful for his own life (verse 16), “Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with Him.’” ________________
____________________________________________________________________________________ 3. Martha – “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.” She is angry but she still believes in Jesus. “I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Why do we pray in Jesus name? Martha gives us the answer, Whatever you ask Lord, the Father will give you. This simple peasant woman had a great grasp on theology. She understood the general resurrection at the last day but Jesus let’s her know that this is not the last day: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” Another I AM statement and we observe the sign.
4. We also have mention of the Jews - ____________________________________________________
5. In the midst of the Jews we find Mary, the other sister of Lazarus. ____________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________
D. The results of Lazarus resurrection – _________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ Jesus gave conclusive proof of His I AM statement: “and many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him.” God is faithful to us who believe in Him in our circumstances and through our circumstances.
The tomb of Lazarus was a sign that God is the author of life. In a few short weeks Jesus would be placed in a tomb but His followers were filled with fear even though they had seen Lazarus come from the tomb as Jesus commanded. Do you trust Jesus with your life and death?
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