Monday, February 22, 2010

one of those "AHA" moments

Yesterday I was reading about Lazarus and God showed me something I had never thought about before. We can find the story of Lazarus in John chapter 11. He is the only gospel writer that shares this miracle.

In chapter 11:5 "Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus." So we know the deep love Jesus had for His friends. As we go into verse 6, it tells us, "So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was." So Jesus was far from where Lazarus was, but He knew, He prayed for His friend. Jesus knows our sufferings and is with us always. Into verse 7 it says,"Than after this He said t0 the disciples, Let us go to Judea again." This was dangerous for Jesus, for the people of Judea wanted to stone Jesus, so this would again put Him in harms way, but He was willing to go for His friend in which He loved. He did the same for you and I. He went the distance even though He knew the cost.

Now, to just move ahead to when Jesus comes and brings Lazarus from the dead. This is the part that really caught my eye like never before. In verses 43-44 it tells us, "Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth! And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, Loose him, and let him go."

See in that time the Hebrews tradition was to coat the body with spices. They did not embalm the dead. Now, here is the cool part. According to custom the body must be buried on the fourth day. There were grave watchers to make sure the person was really dead, since there were times where a person might be in a coma and would awaken, so they would wait until that fourth day. So Lazarus was dead for three days, the time period for the Hebrews to watch the body, and then he was risen from the dead. It was not much longer that Jesus was taken and after His death He was dead for three days, and rose from the grave.

Jesus was showing those with Lazarus to have faith. He says in verse 14 "Then Jesus said to them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him." He was strengthening their faith for what He knew was coming. He knew He would see them again, but He wanted them to believe.

In the midst of our hard times, Jesus is there. We may not understand just like Martha and Mary did not understand why Jesus did not make it a point to be there to heal Lazarus. But Jesus already knew and was praying miles away. He would need His friends to also pray for Him as He faced death.

In all of His miracles, in all of His word, every story brings us right back to Him! Everything, every moment of our lives is about Him. Jesus shows us through the smallest to the largest things just how big He really is.

I love it when I have read something before, and then as the Lord brings me back to it, it is just what I needed to hear with a new perspective. Jesus will never cease to be with us, and to show Himself to us. He is here, He knows our needs. He is already praying.

Thank You Jesus for Your word, for Your love and letting me see a new vision of You.


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