Unusual wake-up call!
Scripture reading for May 20th: John 11:1-53
Death is something that we will all face, unless the Lord returns before we go through that experience. Death has swallowed nearly 100 percent of all human beings. The Bible records two in the Old Testament that did not see death: Enoch and Elijah. Several were raised from the dead in both the Old Testament and New Testament. One of the most notable is found in today’s reading in John Chapter 11: Lazarus!
Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha. Jesus often stayed at their house in Bethany, just a short walk from Jerusalem. Lazarus became sick and the family sent for Jesus to come. Jesus purposely waited two days before traveling to see him. Jesus had escaped stoning in that area right before this and the disciples were concerned about returning. Jesus told them that Lazarus had fallen asleep and that He was going to wake him up. The disciples did not understand that Lazarus had died so Jesus told them plainly. He would raise him up so that they would believe! (John 11:11-14)
When Jesus and the disciples arrived in Bethany, they found that Lazarus had been dead for four days. Mary and Martha and the community were grieving. Both Mary and Martha told Jesus that they knew that if He had been there, their brother would not have died. Jesus saw their grief and was deeply moved with compassion and troubled in His spirit. (John 11:33) Jesus began to weep Himself. Comments were made by many of the mourners concerning Jesus’ show of emotion. “See how He loved him!” and “Could not He who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”(John 11:36-37)
As Jesus, deeply moved, came to the tomb, He commanded the stone be taken away from the entrance. Martha was concerned that there would be a bad odor from the decaying body. Jesus spoke: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40) Jesus thanked the Father for hearing His petition, and then called out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43) Lazarus appeared, wrapped in grave clothes and strips of linen! What a sight to behold and what joy for those grieving! Jesus held power over death and still does! Be sure your name is in the Book of Life for a “wake-up” call!