Faithlife Sermons

God Still Raises the Dead

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Jesus was not ‘glad’ because Lazarus’ life had ended. He was not glad for HIS own sake (kept Him from having to travel 2 days). He was glad for THEIR sakes. More specifically, for their faith.
God is always doing things for our good, even when it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Moreover, the “good” God is looking to produce is faith! The raising of Lazarus from the dead was done to confirm the disciples’ faith, not to extend Lazarus’ life.
God is always doing things for our good, even when it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Moreover, the “good” God is looking to produce is faith! The raising of Lazarus from the dead was done to confirm the disciples’ faith, not to extend Lazarus’ life.
But you say, “I already believe God.” Yes, but your faith in God is limited. You may believe God has power, but do you believe that He has all power? I don’t like when sickness ends in death any more than the next person. Sometimes it’s good when these things happen because we are able to see God’s power in a whole new way!
– In other words, the reason (purpose) Lazarus’ sickness ended in death was so that the disciples could believe. But, didn’t they already believe Jesus was a miracle worker? Yes, but their faith in Christ was limited. They believed He had authority over sickness, but they did not believe He had all authority over death. Yes, they had seen Him raise people from the dead, but they never seen Him raise someone who had been dead 4 days.
I don’t like when sickness ends in death any more than the next person. But, sometimes it’s good when things like this happen because we are able to see God’s power in a whole new way!
Matthew 4:13–16 KJV 1900
And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
Most of us have forgotten that Naphtali and Zebulon were sons of Jacob. Jesus came to those who were forgotten and brought light/life! Mother was apart of that region. Someone might say, “But, God didn’t come for mother. She still died.” No, she didn’t die. She fell asleep. The bible uses “sleep” to emphasize how even in death believers are yet among the living.
I believe mother was apart of that region. The region of the forgotten.
In fact, there are some today who we should be more concerned about.
Someone might say, “But, God didn’t come for mother. She died.” No, she is not dead. She is only sleeping. The reason the bible uses the word “sleep” in reference to believers is to emphasize how that even in death they are among the living. In fact, there are some today who we should be more concerned about.
How do we respond when God doesn’t respond the way (when) we want Him to respond?
Lazarus sickness was not for the purpose of death. Even though it resulted in death, death was not the intended purpose. The purpose was to glorify God.
Just because you experience disappointment in the circumstances of life doesn’t mean the purpose of those circumstances was to bring you grief, heartache or disappointment. (Family, the purpose of mother’s death was not to make you sad or bring her life to an end. Although you may not be able to see it now, the purpose of mother’s death was ultimately for God’s glory!)
Jesus wasn’t trying to bring Lazarus’ life to an end. He loved Lazarus (verse 5).
The people were doing their best to comfort both Martha and Mary. However, once Jesus arrived Mary left the house. The people assumed she was leaving so she could weep at the tomb. They didn’t know that she was leaving home so she could be comforted by Jesus!
Why did we leave home today? Did we leave home because we are looking for another place to cry? OR did we, like Mary, leave home to meet Jesus and be comforted by the source of all comfort!
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Many have speculated on why Jesus wept. Some say it was to demonstrate his humanity and to empathize with Martha and Mary. There may be some truth to that. However, I believe His weeping had less to do with His grief over Lazarus, and more to do with His displeasure with the people (crowd).
The phrase “groaned in spirit” means to become agitated; to restrain one’s anger. Jesus was displeased by something He perceived in the people. I believe it was their unbelief (, ).
The people criticized Jesus for restoring the sight of the blind, but not saving Lazarus from death. In other words, they found fault with Jesus for having selective healing. This grieved Jesus, mostly because they did not see that Lazarus, in one sense, was a picture of the Jewish nation!
Like Lazarus, the Jews had been sick spiritually.
We do the same today. We show our dissatisfaction over what we consider to be selective healing on the part of God, but we only come to Him to restore our physical life (health), but not our spiritual life (health).
Mark 2:17 KJV 1900
When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
In fact, the people were already dead. However, if they would believe (even at this late hour), Jesus had the power to raise them to life again!
The same is true concerning us today. We’re grieved because Mother died. We may even be a little upset that God didn’t raise her up from the bed of affliction. However, have we stopped to think how God feels? Could Mother’s physical condition be a reflection of our spiritual condition?
The Jews had been rejecting Jesus’ message and they were ready to die. In fact, they really already dead and buried. However, if they would believe (even at this late hour), Jesus would raise them to life! The same is true concerning many in this room today. If you would simply believe and turn to Jesus, He would take that which seem to be dead in your life and restore it to life! That’s basically what happened to Lazarus. We often say that Jesus resurrected Lazarus, but Lazarus was not resurrected in the technical sense of the word because he was not given a new body. Instead, Lazarus’ was simply restored back into his mortal body.
I believe He was displeased by how short-sided they were. We are grieved when people die (even believers). God rejoices over the death of the saints (“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord”). What makes God sad is the spiritual blindness and spiritual deadness of people.
I can remember visiting Mother towards the end of her life. Her eyes would often be open, but she was unresponsive. Her consciousness was greatly impaired. I remember feeling very sad.
However, today I’m asking myself, “What if Mother’s physical condition is a reflection of our spiritual condition?” What if God has visited some of us, and have seen how unresponsive we are spiritually? Could it be that the sickness of sin has eaten away at our soul and all our spiritual faculties have been suspended?
Can God still raise the dead? What about those that have been dead a long time? What about those who are not only cold, but have started to stink?
That’s what they said concerning Lazarus (“By this time he stinketh”). In other words, he’s reached the point of no return. The situation is hopeless (impossible). God specializes in impossible situations!
Even though the disciples had even seen Jesus raise others from the dead, they had never seen anything like this. When Jesus reached Lazarus his body had already begun to stink. In other words, his situation seemed impossible!
Matthew 4:13–16 KJV 1900
And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
Most of us have forgotten that Naphtali and Zebulon were sons of Jacob. This verse is a reminder that Jesus comes to the forgotten and brings them life!
I believe Mother was apart of this forgotten region. It may seem like God has forgotten her, but He has not. He may allow a few days to pass, but He’s coming to raise her up!
Besides, she’s not really dead. She’s only sleeping. The bible uses the word “sleep” to describe the death of saints. It’s a reminder that even in death believers are yet among the living.
In the meantime, He’s paying a visit to those who are spiritually dead and He wants to know do you believe I am able to raise the spiritually dead back to life? Will you find fault with God because He did not answer your prayer for healing or your prayer for finances, or will you turn and
Ezekiel 12:2 KJV 1900
Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.
Ask yourself this question, “Have you been grieved/saddened by over the blindness of men’s hearts or your own?” This is the answer to the question I posed earlier—“What is the purpose of this death?” The purpose may be to open our eyes so that we can see our own spiritual condition.
God was to put life back into your life (ministry, worship, relationships, ministry). He wants to raise you up out of your spiritual coma and give you life again.
Jesus clearly perceived the hypocrisy in their words, which is why he “groaned” again ().
We are grieved when people die (even believers). God rejoices over the death of the saints (“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord”). What makes God sad is the spiritual blindness and spiritual deadness of people.
The world says it’s impossible. You’re already stinking (decay has already begun to set in). In other words, you already lost what you once had. That’s fine because He’s putting something in that’s new, not restoring the old!
I must say that I have encountered many people who were just as impaired spiritually. In fact, we have all encountered individuals who’s mind/heart was blinded by their own rebellion.
Ezekiel 12:2 KJV 1900
Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.
Ask yourself this question, “Have you been grieved/saddened by over the blindness of men’s hearts or your own?” This is the answer to the question I posed earlier—“What is the purpose of this death?” The purpose may be to open our eyes so that we can see our own spiritual condition.
God was to put life back into your life (ministry, worship, relationships, ministry). He wants to raise you up out of your spiritual coma and give you life again.
God was to put life back into your life (ministry, worship, relationships, ministry). He wants to raise you up out of your spiritual coma and give you life again.
The world says it’s impossible. You’re already stinking (decay has already begun to set in). In other words, you already lost what you once had. That’s fine because He’s putting something in that’s new, not restoring the old!
We do the same today. We show our dissatisfaction over what we consider to be selective healing on the part of God, but we only come to Him to restore our physical life (health), but not our spiritual life (health).
Jesus clearly perceived the hypocrisy in their words, which is why he “groaned” again ().
Lazarus was stinking.
I believe mother was apart of that region. The region of the forgotten.
Someone might say, “But, God didn’t come for mother. She died.” No, she is not dead. She is only sleeping. The reason the bible uses the word “sleep” in reference to believers is to emphasize how that even in death they are among the living. In fact, there are some today who we should be more concerned about.
Lazarus sickness was not for the purpose of death. Even though it resulted in death, death was not the intended purpose. The purpose was to glorify God.
Just because you experience disappointment in the circumstances of life doesn’t mean the purpose of those circumstances was to bring you grief, heartache or disappointment. (Family, the purpose of mother’s death was not to make you sad or bring her life to an end. Although you may not be able to see it now, the purpose of mother’s death was ultimately for God’s glory!)
Jesus wasn’t trying to bring Lazarus’ life to an end. He loved Lazarus (verse 5).
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