Friday, July 6, 2012


Chapter Eleven of the Gospel of John speaks of a "roller-coaster" of emotions.  Verses 1-3 tell of the fear of the sisters of Lazarus over his serious illness.  Jesus, hearing of this, and fully knowing what His Father was doing in the situation, calmly waited two more days before going to His friend, assuring His disciples that the sickness was not "unto death" (v. 4-6).  Finally, when Jesus was ready to go, His disciples tried to persuade Him not to go for fear of the Jews who sought to kill Him (v. 7-14).  But, when Jesus told them Lazarus was dead, it was Thomas, of all people, who bravely said, "Let us also go, that we may die with him" (v. 15-16).

They travelled to where Lazarus had been buried four days earlier, and it was to Martha, the busy host of Luke 10:38-42, that Jesus told of His being the Resurrection and the Life (v. 17-27).  Jesus met the mourners and Mary, the "spiritual one" of Luke 10:38-42, and He wept with them (v. 28-36).  They knew that had He been there, Lazarus would not have died (v. 37).  Jesus commanded that the stone covering the grave entrance be removed, and He cried out, "Lazarus!  Come forth!"  Great sadness was turned to joy, and the unbelief of many was replaced by faith (v. 38-45).  Unfortunately, hardened hearts were steeled by the raising of Lazarus, and the Jewish leaders hatred for the Man who was a threat to their "cushy" position, conspired to kill Jesus (v. 46-57).  NOTE:  Lazarus was raised (resuscitated), similar to those described in other passages of Scripture (1 Kg. 17:17-24; 2 Kg. 4:20-27; 13:21; Mk. 5:35-43; Lk. 7:11-16; Acts 20:7-12).  He could not have been resurrected because Jesus was the first to actually be resurrected (Mt. 27:52-53; 1 Cor. 15:20; Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5).

Last night, I spent some time at the funeral home, praying and listening to those wanting to tell me about their fond memories with, and the last days of, a dear brother in the Lord.  Tom Hammond had suffered for years with dialysis and its almost unbearable effects on his deteriorating physical condition.  Wanting no longer to be a burden on others, and after much prayer and Christian counsel, Tom had peace about stopping treatments, knowing full well that it meant that he would have but days to live.  He lasted longer than most; he lived twelve days before entering the presence of Jesus, his Lord and Savior (2 Cor. 5:8).  Because his family and friends knew of his relationship with his Father, there was great joy for Tom's "graduation."  His son Mike had been by his father's side moments after his passing, and his reaction was a huge smile, raised hands to heaven, and a shout of "praise the Lord!"  Then, there in the funeral home, Mike told me that later, seeing the footstool he had made for his father so he could get into his truck to go to dialysis, he "totally lost it."  There will be sadness at the void left by Tom's passing, but there will also be great joy every time we remember we will see Tom again; some us will not need wait long!

The greatest gift you can give your family is the peace they will have at your passing!
Those who have trusted in Jesus, will spend eternity rejoicing together in His presence! 


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