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John 11:25-27 "An Appeal for Eternal Hope" Memorial Service Albert Hoecker

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Introduction:

Finding hope in the midst of sorrow can be a difficult thing to accomplish when our hearts are grieving.
This is because of the relational and emotional bonds that we have with others as we have encountered one another experientially in our lives.
We come to love others as we live out relationships to one another. We can love as friends and family or even in the context of a covenant relationship like marriage.
Albert Hoecker was loved in all of these ways and he loved in those ways as well.
And when a loved one leaves this world this bond can cause pain. But this material world has no answer that it can give us that can help us in this situation.
The world doesn’t have any hope for us because as far as the material world is concerned death is finality.
But the Bible reveals a whole different perspective. In the text I read from John chapter 11:25-27 it is set in context of Jesus showing up at a funeral service of His friend Lazarus.
Many are grieving on that day and this would include Jesus Himself as you can see down in verse 35.
This is where we are told that Jesus actually wept over Lazarus. Lazarus had two sisters, Mary and Martha, and Martha ran out to meet Jesus upon His arrival.
When she reaches Jesus she expresses her regret that Jesus had not arrived earlier, before Lazarus died. That way she thought Jesus could have just healed him and Lazarus’ death would have been prevented.
Now most of us know that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. But eventually, we are not told when, but even Lazarus would die again. He may have lived into his 80’s or his 90’s but eventually he would die.
It is a medical fact that these physical bodies in this fallen world wear out. Many of us can feel it right now. We are experiencing pain and increasing weakness in our physical bodies.
You see this story of Jesus interaction with Martha is an account of the temporal life and ministry of Jesus while He was on earth. But it points us to something rooted in eternity that translates into eternal hope for us today. And Jesus reveals the basis of this eternal hope to us in verses 25-26.

I. The Revelation of Jesus (25-26).

Jesus identifies Himself as the resurrection and the life. He is the focal point and the rock of our foundation that we are called to place our hope in.
And it is something that we are called to do by simply believing in Christ by faith alone. Jesus calls us to simply believe in Him as the means of eternal life. And yes, the ramifications are eternal in nature just as He says.
Perhaps the question that Jesus ask Martha is the question that He would ask each and every one of us this morning: “Do you believe this?”
And maybe our confession would sound much like the very confession that Martha made in verse 27.

II. The Confession of Martha (27).

The Term Christ denotes that Martha believed that Jesus was the anointed one of God who brought about the fulfillment of the covenant promises of the Old Testament.
But she also refers to Him as the Son of God who is coming into the world. Jesus Christ is fully God in the flesh and He is came into the world to bring God’s plan of redemption to pass.
Both descriptions tell us a lot about the identity of Jesus but the fact that He is coming into the world tells us about the practical workings His mission and ministry.
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners through His sacrificial death, burial and resurrection. What we see in the example of Lazarus was merely a foretaste of something to come.
Christ came to overcome the power of sin and death and He did that by taking sin upon Himself on the Cross.
This is why John’s gospel tells us earlier in John 3:16--“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
This is the quintessential display of the Love of God in all the Bible, that God would give a savior to the world as an expression of His love for sinners.
That He would lay down the foundational basis through Christ by which, not only love but His mercy and His grace might be extended to all those in need of forgiveness and being reconciled to God.
In a court of law, there is usually a higher court with a higher judge that one can appeal to. You can, in our nation appeal all the way up to the highest judges in the land on the Supreme Court if all those appeals are granted.
Sin came into the world and death was the consequential penalty for sin. But for the Christian death is not the final judge.
There is a judge that is higher still. And in God’s court system the appeal is not a process it is an act of faith in a savior who died for us to ransom us to God. You might say God cut out all the middle courts. He intervened on our behalf through Christ.
That is why without Christ there is no hope in this world. It is not only Martha, but actually all of us have no one to appeal to apart from Christ, the Son of God who has come into the world.

Conclusion :

Maybe today is a great day for us to be reminded of the importance of knowing to whom it is that we appeal to before God.
Are you reconciled to God by faith alone in Christ?
Christ alone by faith alone is the only basis of our appeal. May our hope always be found in Him. Let’s Pray!
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