The Gospel of John | Day Nine
By: Brittany Green | Lazarus
"Recently, I had to make a decision over what I should dedicate the next six to seven years of my life to, if not more. To me, that seemed like a pretty big deal and a seemingly impossible choice! Why was it so hard? I prayed and thought about it for quite a while--asking the Lord to open up the path He'd like me to take.
Later on, I ended up deciding to walk away from something I'd spent nearly my entire life doing to pursue other areas. Throughout that extremely difficult change, I still didn't know if I'd made the right choice. However, over time, God made it clear that it simply came down to what I preferred. It wasn't as straightforward as one door was right and the other was wrong.
Instead, the Lord showed me that at the very core, He can use me to shine His light in any context, no matter what I plan to do. That's the beauty of our purpose here on earth: no matter our age or location, God will use us to spread His Word if we let Him. And already I'm seeing the new opportunities He has opened up for me, along with ways I can grow in my relationship with Him. Always remember, even if you don't know exactly what you should do with your life, God can ultimately use you anywhere, anytime!"
Over the past eight days, we’ve looked at the signs and teachings of Jesus that showed is the Messiah. Today we’re talking about the last miracle in John: raising Lazarus from the dead. Lean in today because this chapter is pivotal to our lives and to understanding who Jesus is.
Read John 11.
What stands out to you in this story?
What does it tell you about the character of Jesus?
Let’s dig into this a little bit.
Jesus was very close to Lazarus and his two sisters, Martha and Mary. When Jesus hears of lazarus’ illness, He makes a crazy claim that the sickness will not end in death, but will serve to glorify God. Isn’t that a cool thought that all things can be used to glorify God, even illnesses? So after this crazy statement about Lazarus’ illness, Jesus goes back to the area of Jerusalem, even though it was dangerous for him there. He then gets the message that Lazarus has died and then waits four days to go to see the family. This is a crazy thing for a family that was so close to Jesus. Mary and Martha are clearly upset. John 11:35 (the shortest verse in the Bible) says that “Jesus wept” for his friends. I love the emotion we see Jesus show. He has feelings just like you and me. And then what does Jesus do? He tells Lazarus to come out of the grave. And out walked a very much alive Lazarus.
So why is this significant?
Well, Jesus explains in verses 25-26 that He is the resurrection and the life and that whoever believes in Him will live and never die. Jesus brings life. The only way to fill the voids in our life, to have salvation is belief in Jesus. That’s it. We can’t work our way to a full life. We can’t fill our schedules with good things or achievements. We just need Jesus.
Death has a sting. Lazarus’ family and friends were deeply grieved by his death. It’s hard to watch a loved one go through illnesses. Because we live in a fallen world, death has a sting. It’s messy and sad and hard. But because of Jesus, death no longer has victory over us.
How can we live with that truth? How does that make us live differently?
Girls, Jesus wants you to have a full life. He died so that just as Lazarus was resurrected, we might all be resurrected spiritually right now and physically later. He wants you to walk with confidence because He made you and loves you. He wants you to have the best relationships. He wants you to use your circumstances to glorify Him in all things. That’s full life. And nothing can steal that from you. Not death, not Satan, not other people’s opinions of you.
You have full life. So live it.
Take some time to reflect on today’s reading and listen to “Christ is Risen” by Matt Maher (https://open.spotify.com/track/4HC6Jx059H5mAaVMhIIQKQ)