On Sunday, John Maulella brought the message, preaching out of John 11 about the resurrection of Lazarus.
John got our attention at the start of the message by telling about his mother's sudden death of heart failure when she was 57. Our lives are a series of losses.
So where do we put our hope?
John 11:1-44 --
First, Jesus waits. "Lord, if you'd been here, my brother would not have died." Both Martha and Mary say that, and it's true.
Then Jesus says something outrageous: "I am the resurrection and the life."
Mary's disappointed in Jesus. You can only be disappointed in someone you trust.
Mary gave Jesus the power to disappoint her.
Martha gave Jesus theology. Mary brought Jesus her tears.
When Jesus is "deeply troubled," what the Greek really says is that Jesus was angry.
If Jesus were angry at unbelief, he would have said so. He's angry at death.
This is the warrior Jesus, who's going to take death into a dark alley and stomp him.
Jesus knows the outcome -- but he still weeps. He's not aloof.
He's crying because the people he loves are grieving. He's angry at death and saddened by grief.
We also have the smell of death on us. We stinketh.
Though we live in a culture that denies this, living life apart from God is death.
We don't want Jesus to go in there. But his reaction is "Take away the stone."
1) We live in a time of the Great Delay.
God has started something and he's not done yet. We live in the time of groaning. (Romans 8)
2) We realize we're in training for resurrection.
Saturate yourself with the truth of Jesus' resurrection.
Our faith rests on this. We are people of the resurrection.
People who think ahead the most are most effective. Get ready for resurrection!
3) We acknowledge that Jesus is always bigger than we think.
There's more to Jesus than we realize, no matter how well we know him.
It is impossible to give Jesus too much of your attention and time and focus.
Jesus wants to do a mini-resurrection on you.
The resurrection and the life is available to you now!
Take off those grave clothes!