We all need a reason to get out of bed every morning. There has to be something to motivate us to live. The reasons we get out of bed, our motivation for living, is based on hope. We hope to see God working in the world around us. We hope to see our loved ones. We hope to complete a meaningful project. We hope to enjoy the fulfillment of our faith. Yes, our hope lies in wanting to see the good that God has for us.
But there are times in life when we our hope takes a hit. When a loved one is ailing, our hope is for them to get better. When our loved one is dying, our hope changes for them. When our loved one has passed, our hope becomes focused on the promises God has for all of us.
For those of us who follow Jesus Christ, our hope is that on the day of the Resurrection, we will see and be with God. This hope is sustained by our faith in Jesus Christ. We cannot dare to see and be with God on the day of the Resurrection, unless we believe in Jesus Christ.
Hearing about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead gives us hope for our lives. It is by believing in Jesus that Martha and Mary had hope for Lazarus and themselves. Yet, Jesus was not there when Lazarus was sick. Lazarus died and was placed in the grave. What sort of hope do Martha and Mary have now? What sort of hope do we have when our loved ones are placed in the grave?
A. 11:1-16 Introduction
1. V. 1 Bethany & Mary
2. V. 2 Which Mary – the one who did the anointing (Chapter 12)
3. V. 3 Jesus loved Lazarus’ family
4. V. 4 Lazarus’ illness leads to Jesus’ death
5. V. 5-6 Jesus loves this family
6. V. 7-15 Jesus’ return to Judea figures in his own death
– V. 9 A day only holds 12 hours (Jesus’ time is limited)
– V. 10 Walking apart from light is a stumbling block
– V. 11-12 Save/deliver from death
– V. 13-14 Jesus describes Lazarus’ death – asleep
– V. 15 Lazarus will arise so you may believe
7. V. 16 Thomas is an obedient disciple, yet doesn’t know what is going on here
B. 11:17-37 Heart of the story
1. V. 17 He is dead – 4 days! (Jews thought the soul leaves the body after four days when the soul sees the change of color in the face)
2. V. 18-19 Fellow mourners witness the miracle
3. V. 20 Mary continues the mourning rituals, Martha goes on
4. V. 21-22 Martha complains to Jesus, but she has faith
5. V. 23-26 Future Resurrection (Daniel 12:2)
– “On the last day” – only in John’s Gospel
– “I am” – Jesus fulfills eschatological expectations
– Believes, dies – then lives
– Lives, believes, then never dies
– Future determined by faith; the present faith has power
6. V. 27 “I believe” – formal confession of faith
7. V. 28-37 Mary & Jesus, with the Jews (Public setting)
i. V. 28-31 Mary is one of Jesus’ sheep (outside the town)
ii. V. 32 Mary speaks like Martha, only Mary kneels
iii. V. 33-35 Big Stuff here!
1. Εμβρίμάομαι – anger, indignation
2. Ταρασσω – agitated, troubled
3. Anger over the lack of faith of the Jews
iv. V. 36-37 Jews were hostile to Jesus
C. 11:38-44 Raising of Lazarus
1. V. 38 Jesus is angry with the Jews!
2. V. 39 Martha’s faith doesn’t have her ready yet for the end
3. V. 40 Good question – how far does faith take us?
4. V. 41-42 Jesus prays to the Father, openly
5. Thanksgiving – God the Father did this work
i. Jesus is certain of God
6. V. 43-44 Lazarus responds to Jesus (Isaiah 48:9)
D. 11:45-46 Some Jews are upset with Jesus
If we believe, then we will see the glory of God. If we believe, then we will see the resurrection of God’s people. If we believe, then we can know the God who sent Jesus. If we believe in Jesus, then we can have hope for this life. Our future is determined by faith; the present faith has power.
We can hope in God. He will raise up his people on the day of the Resurrection. If you believe in Jesus, then you can live on the day of Resurrection. Will you see the glory of God?