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November 12, 2019 1:00 am
There was a man which will: Charlie does not his real name Charlie spent most of his life avoiding the subject of death. He riveted him and he refused to go to a doctor less. He will give him some sort of a terminal diagnosis. He would not make a will, because he felt that be a bad omen. He refused to buy life insurance or burial plot to because if that would admit his mortality but Ron's 70th birthday.
A friend led him to the Lord and from that day on, everything's changed everything. The fear of death gave way to confidence and assurance overtone.
The life in heaven with Jesus. A few years later he is attending a funeral of a business acquaintance and as he sat in the pew next to a friend as they were leaving the church.
He said to his friend with great joy in his voice he said the next one of these parties, they throw out will be the guest of honor, and he was many of us like Charlie live our lives in the state of denial of death or fear of death of both. But those of us who know the Lord Jesus Christ should never be afraid of death. We know what to expect on the other side we know and therefore we anticipate that with great joy, not fear. And today were going to come to the last in the seventh claims of Jesus. I am which recalled the series.
There is and I and the IM where Jesus says I am the resurrection and the life. So I wanted to turn with me please to John chapter 11 because Jesus makes this claim. Not in a vacuum, but he makes it in the middle of a funeral like all the other claims of Jesus. You have to understand them in context. In order to comprehend what they really mean for us today.
Context is of outermost importance. The whole atmosphere of John 11 in the little town of Bethany was filled with death and decay and distress.
Lazarus who had been a friend of the Lord Jesus was buried for four days. His family and friends within the state of shock during a state of sorrow. There were grieving and so I will walk you through this context very quickly. Jesus was in another town and he gets a word that Lazarus was seriously ill. In fact, he knew that by the time the message came to him most likely Lazarus was already dead like they do in the Middle East. They very same day they do not wait but Jesus says to the disciples he uses a spiritual language that the disciples really have a hard time understanding you know we Christians do that with people who don't know anything about the Christian faith we talk what we call Christian knees and reuses big words and nonbelievers don't understand what and what we talk about and Jesus had to do that. He uses spiritual language that disciples could not comprehend.
They could not understand. In fact, the only understood why he refers to death as sleep after Jesus's resurrection living at times that's what he means by sleep, why, why is Jesus using this type of spiritual language will explain to you in a minute because I was thinking of this when I was thought of the man who was walking through the gravesite and seeing all this tombstones in different words here and there and he came across a tombstone obviously is a believer in the Lord Jesus and that the words read on the tombstone. Not dead, but sleeping now this nonbeliever looked at this and they couldn't understand the spiritual language so he says man you are not fooling anybody only fooling yourself. Then on the stand that's a Christ list mindset. But after Jesus's resurrection. The disciples understood why death is called sleep because death is only a temporary separation. Death is not permanent, just like going to sleep at night and we tell our loved ones. Good night. See you in the morning.
That's exactly what's gonna happen for the believer when they die. And so Jesus finally said to them, because they couldn't get it. He said well Lazarus is dead now Lazarus and his two sisters, Martha and Mary lived in Bethany, which is very close to Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is where the bad guys are. They want to kill Jesus and Thomas honest Thomas blurted out this in regard to Jerusalem. We don't buy this argon died. You know people like that in the longer they get up hope of Melodie Jesus waits until the fourth day. Then he goes to Bethany know why the fourth day wealth. Jews had the superstitious thinking when a person dies, the spread of hovers around the tomb for three days and then the spirit departs.
So Jesus waited to make absolutely sure that they know that Lazarus is dead dead dead and he was really that there are no spread of hobbling anywhere and so he waits as he comes into town.
A word gets to the two sisters, Martha and Mary that the Lord is on his way.
Martha consistent with her personality, consistent with her temperament. She leaves the mourner sitting in the house and she runs to me. Jesus these two sisters really lived up to the birth order.
Martha's eldest, Mary is the youngest.
Martha, like most firstborn men or women.
She was a woman of action. I mean she was task oriented, she has to get things done. After all that she doesn't get it done. Know what is going to do it right you know people like that Mary was compliant time infecting the gospel of Luke gives you see those two temperaments or two personalities come to the fore at a time when Jesus was there to have a meal with them, but that's a story for another time. Martha runs to Jesus and says to him, and I want to give your use of translation. Lord I wish you were here you could have healed my brother as we usually say Martha did not believe for a moment that Jesus was going to raise her brother from the dad, not foot two seconds. I mean you said to me Michael how do you know that well is in the Scripture.
I'm not making it up when Jesus said to her, your brother will rise again. What is she say I know I know in the last day. She did not believe for a moment that her brother was going to rise from the dead.
She really didn't in the last day I do raising Lazarus her brother from the dead was a loss thing on Martha's mind I'm not going to ask you to raise your hand, but how many times have you prayed for something specific, and God did not answer it the way you wanted or in the time you wanted nonresident hand just answered yourself. I know of being that how many people who are walking around angry with God.
Only the anger go because he did not give them exactly what they wanted when they wanted another because I've been there few times few times when I prayed earnestly, and when I prayed urgently for something that is so important to me.
But the Lord did not answer the way I wanted to answer but he gave me something else instead.
I know how that feels. I really do. But I am so grateful to the Lord that I lived long enough so I can testify to you and to everybody else's listening that in every one of those cases I went back to the Lord and asked for forgiveness. I went back to the Lord and thanked him for not answering my prayer that way I wanted it answered so what was Martha saying here, Lord, even though my brother is dead.
I know that you can heal the grief and the pain on the sorrow that I am feeling right now.
The resurrection was the last thing on her mind. Be careful when you pray, as I am growing in my walk with the Lord as I'm going deeper in my relationship with the Lord.
I'm now just now, after nearly 50 years of walking with Jesus. I'm beginning to learn how to pray, give me your best not what I want.
Give me your best and beloved, I can testify to you that his best has always been beyond what my teeny-weeny face believer hope for. Be careful when you pray, I know there are many people who pray this way. I know that you have done great things in the past. Even in my life. I know you'll do great things in the future, but I'm not expecting anything now. It's a mindset. Be careful when you pray, don't miss out on today's medical don't miss out on today's blessings. Don't get caught between the past and the future and miss out on the here and now blessing. Don't get caught between the past and the future and miss out on today's blessing us with Martha level of faith was as a level of faith you healed in the past you going to raise my brother in the last day in the future. I'm not sure about the here and now that you're about to have you been there. I have but look at the graciousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Look at his graciousness. Look how gracious he was, as he gently shifts her focus as he gently move her focus. He shifts her focus from being caught between the past and the future. He shifts her focus away from being fixated with God's long-term plan. He shifts her focus away from the trap of finding herself, and he says to her, one of the greatest irons. I am the resurrection and the life. He shifts her focus from everything else and places it where on himself on himself. Be careful when you pray, don't make even the object of your prayer to be your focus make even when you need to be the object of your prayer. Jesus wants you to shift your focus to himself.
I the resurrection and the life Martha. He who believes in me will never die whenever the this is the entire not beloved everything that God did in the past. Everything that he promised in the future. He can do in the here and now a man. I have a question what is Jesus doing at this very moment in helping Martha shift the focus here is putting her eyes of faith, not on her need.
But on him. Please don't miss this for something very important here because twice in this passage, Jesus said, he who believes in me, he who believes in me, not he who believes that what I can do for them or not he who believes that they can get out of me what they want, not heal, believes that I am the sugar daddy up in the sky they can come to when they want something and then they take off when they finished now.
Jesus is the focus.
He who believes in me, he who has his focus on me.
He who makes me to be the object of the faith he makes me to be the center of the life whom asked me to be the purpose for living. Everything he does is only the icing on the cake.
He's a cake once Martha focus shifts. She was able to make this magnificent confession is a threefold confession. First are the Christ.
Second year, the son of God. Thirdly, you are the one that had been promised for thousands of years in our Bible. What is she say she is saying yes Lord now my focus is on your person. Yes, Lord, my trust is in you. Yes, Lord, now you are the object of my faith. Yes, Lord, you know, the one and only, and yes, Lord, now you are the center of my universe. And yes, Lord, now you are the purpose for my living. I am the resurrection and the life. And here Jesus is saying three things at least three things he's saying that I am the giver of physical life. He is saying I am the reviver of the restorer of the spiritual life and is saying I am the insurer overturn the life Jesus is the one who gives us physical life.
Did you know that acts 1725 Paul said he gives all men life and breath and everything else is a given physical life. He creates us he makes us but secondly he is the reviver in the restorer of our spiritual life.
In John 1010 Jesus said I came so that you might have life and have it more abundantly. Some translation said that you might have it in full. What is that me the Scripture answers the Scripture.
Paul tells the Ephesians that every human being is ever lived. Every one of us. When we physically were born were born spiritually dead. Did you get. We will not have that spiritually speaking, were not partially dead spiritually speaking, we would dad completely dead. And then God's breath breeze blowing our spirits and what happens when that takes place. We woke up from our spiritual stupa will walk up and we woke up and realize that we are sinners and we heading to a Chrysler fraternity and so at that moment the Holy Spirit of God raises us up spiritually, we get resurrected and then he breathed new life in us, then God in the person of his Holy Spirit comes into dwell in us so that we may stay alive just come in and revises a look at your own your own Bible now just like Lazarus who was dad and beginning to stink. Everyone of us stunk in the nostrils of God spiritually speaking that is. I know that ice time in the nostrils of God. I know that I know that when I shook my fist at God and said I wanted to go my way to my thing I know I still think it is not, but his spirit came into me one day and said Michael rise from your spiritual stupa and death. Praise God and I come alive recognize my sin that I needed repentance. I need to receive his forgiveness. I need to bring my sins and leave them with Jesus that might be forgiven for eternity. Christ is the only one who gives physical life, Christ is the only one who revives or restores spiritual life. And thirdly, Christ is the only one who ensures audit on the life. The word resurrection, particularly in verse 25 John 1125 Mrs. I am the resurrection and the life. The word literally means that he is the one who causes us to stand up literally hedonic causes after Stella. How did this happen. Ephesians chapter 2 verse one says you were dead in your transgressions and sins, spiritually speaking, will flatten back, but then he calls us to rise spiritually and get up. Some of you probably are asking how did we get the how we ended up being born spiritually dead with the answer is simpler than you think God said to Adam. Adam the day you disobey me the day you go against my will that they reviled my command you'll be spiritually dead. He disobeyed God to become spiritually dead. He was physically a lot, he was emotionally a lot.
He was rationally alive continue to live but spiritually dead. That created a set of DNA inside of him, that he transmitted to everyone of us that were born with that soon we born spiritually dead. David said in Psalm 51 five was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me when you meet a person who's highly educated who have had a string of degrees after him or her.
They are sophisticated them culture. They are to find that the charming and debonair and you can say wow look at this God looks at them as it is spiritually dead dead dead dead. That's why Jesus at the Martha whoever believes in me shall not die, shall not die physically will die, but spiritually we will never die. We will live forever. In fact, first Corinthians 15 is a magnificent chapter hope that you read it when he got home he tells us that when we go and be with the Lord we receive our body glorified body like Jesus's body after the resurrection years regarded the story about Michael Faraday. Remember that name was studded with his scientific principles in high school, Faraday, Michael Faraday was a godly man you love the Lord he truly walked with God great scientist love the Lord Jesus.
He was dying in one of his scientist friend came to visit him this is Michael. What are your speculations now about life after death. He said speculations speculations.
I know nothing about speculations. I am resting on the serpent. I know my Redeemer lives, and because he lives I would live also. That is true on the scientists of the jokers we have these days Christ is the only giver physical life. Christ is only reviver of our dead spirits. Christ is the only insurer and preserve overturn the life.
To be sure, Adam, of course, failed and lost it, spiritually speaking and transmitted that to us. But Jesus succeeded and therefore he made it possible for us to know him and love him and I'm going to live with him forever. John 1419, Jesus said because I live, you also what you know during ancient Egyptian times when a rich man dies, you have a big funeral then they have a big banquet in the servant of the rich man will have a coffin in the form of a box and inside that coffin.
There is a wooden image of the corpse painted that resembles a good person in these servants walk around the banquet to everyone of the guests and there was say to everyone of those mourners gazed here and drink and be merry for when you die. Such use shall be beloved. This is what a classless humanity teaches, but because Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life we know will go to live with him forever in a few days later after he made the statement only a few days later he rose out of the grave to prove that he is the resurrection and the life and that is why we can be absolutely certain. When we cross to the other shore.
We will be more alive than we've ever lived before.
I love what a messianic Jew by the name of Joseph flex had written this man love the Lord Jesus as Messiah and he brought a small simple document before he died, with only one blank space and he asked his family to fill in the blank space that that he goes to glory. So this is how to read.
August 14, 1940, triumphant through grace. This is to announce that I have moved out of the old mod house. Second Corinthians 51 arrived in glory land instantly in the charge of angelic escort Luke 1622. Absence from the body at home with the Lord. Second Corinthians 56 I find is foretold. Psalm 1611 in his presence. Fullness of joy pleasures forevermore will be looking for you will be looking for you on the way up at the redemption of the body. Romans 823. Father, we cannot claim anything for it is by your grace. You breezed in our dead spirits new life and you assured us over eternity with you. And so father I pray that for those of us who claim to know you, and yet clinging so much to this earthly pilgrimage as if it's going to be forever remind us that our citizenship is in heaven. 90 and help us to live every waking moment in this life.
With preparation for the day to come for those who don't know you made this be the day in which they begin the process of you waking them up raising them up to know you and love you and serve for your gracious God, and we love in Jesus name, amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that's LTW.Ward