Jesus Steps into the Grave
Topic: Lent 2017 Passage: John 11:18–11:44
A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon
Preaching Text: John 11:18-44
This is a portion of the account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the grave after 4 days of decay. It is the 7th of seven signs in John’s gospel, which are “written that you might believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and by believing have life in his name” (see John 20:31).
Main Point: Just by being himself (God and Man), Jesus stresses and strengthens our faith.
1. Jesus stresses our faith. John 11:6 oddly tells us that Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, so he waited two more days once he heard Lazarus was ill. He goes on to say in 11:14 that he was glad he was not there to heal Lazarus for the disciples’ sake, so that they will believe in him. Rather than thinking that Jesus is uncaring or uninvolved in our problems, we must all learn to trust that he sees the full picture and is accomplishing more than we are aware. One of his uses for hardships is to put our faith to the test. When faith is stressed, it is given the opportunity to grow.
2. Jesus strengthens our faith. Martha and Mary come to Jesus separately, but say the same thing: “If you had been here, our brother would not have died.” To Martha, Jesus exposes his divinity. “I am the Resurrection.” To Mary, he exposes his humanity. “Jesus wept.” Being God, Jesus can be trusted as competent. Being man, he can be trusted to understand what we are experiencing.
Christians can rest assured that our faith is built on a foundation of solid rock. We must also expect our faith to be tested. Consider this question: “How is the Lord giving my faith a test right now?”