As to day is Resurrection Sunday we are looking at "Jesus, Resurrection
Easter, or as the world calls it, is so much more then lollies
& chocolate Easter eggs, & even though we like that stuff a lot (well
speaking for my self I just love chocolate) It is a holiday founded on the
resurrection of Jesus. Think about that for a moment; that is a serious
We don't see too much of it happening today, why you may ask, the
answer is simple our faith isn't up to it. But Jesus was full of power &
faith, He had no problem with raising anybody from the dead.
Have you ever wondered how Jesus could be so sure that He would
rise again, how was He so certain that He would be able to walk of of His tomb?
Think about that no one had laid hands on Him, No one had prayed &
commanded life back into His body. He was dead as a doornail, wrapped in the
traditional burial way, lying in a large tomb with a huge stone rolled over the
door, & yet He came out of the grave!
The more we think about Jesus' faith in His Father & Himself
to be raised, the more we start to realise something pretty simple, before
Jesus was raised He had some practice, like the widow's son in Luke 7, Jairus'
daughter in Luke 8 & of course the most famous one, Lazarus, in John 11.
never for once doubted that He would come out of the grave. Even that big stone
rolled up in front of the tomb didn't seem to be a problem. Again the answer is
simple He had faith in His Father & also Himself. He knew that He was more
than able to be raised from the dead, without human intervention or help. That
is the power of the Lord at work. The power of the mighty God we serve.
Lazarus had two sisters Mary & Martha, these people loved
Jesus & enjoyed His ministry, they did all they could to His message out.
They supported His work financially, gave Him a room to rest when He came into
their town to preach, & prayed for His ministry. They were all close
When Lazarus became sick, it was Martha that sent for Jesus to
come & lay hands on her brother. Now Jesus didn't do what Martha asked Him
to do. The Bible tells us that He stayed a further two days in the place where
He was before leaving for their home.
Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick He said This sickness is not unto death, but
for the glory of God, that the Son of God maybe glorified through it. Jn 11:4
This is an example of divine sovereignty amid human suffering, &
demonstrating God's purposes & grace through Jesus' response. Verse 6 says
So when He heard that he was sick He stayed two more days in the place where He
Jesus delay for two days underscores what He had taught
consistently, namely, that His marching orders came exclusively from His
Father. Neither the need of His closest friends nor the fury of His enemies
determined His actions.
Now when Jesus decided to go, His disciples warned him that He
would be stoned if He went back to Judea (Jn 11:8) But Jesus wasn't deterred in
Jn 11:11 He said...Our friend Lazarus sleeps but I go that I may wake him up.
The word friend in the Greek is philos compare philosophy,
philharmonic, & philology. An adjective used as a noun means a loved one,
beloved,& affectionate friend. The verb phileo which describes a love of emotion
& friendship. Philos has a congeniality about it.
Jesus told the disciples that Lazarus was only sleeping they misunderstood Him
& said Lord, if he sleeps he will get well. However Jesus spoke of his
death, but they thought He was speaking about taking a rest in sleep. Then
Jesus said plainly Lazarus is dead. Jn 11:12-14
You see Jesus knew by the Spirit of God that Lazarus had already
died. Next Jesus said something very strange to His disciples & I am glad
for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe nevertheless let us
go to Him.
You are probably wondering why Jesus would say that He was glad
that He wasn't there because a greater miracle was going to happen because of
it. The disciples were going to start to really believe-& to Jesus that was
a greater miracle then healing Lazarus.
You see, this was about more than Lazarus, even though Christ
loved him very much. It was about bringing glory to God & teaching His
disciples a lesson as well. Jesus wanted His followers to recognise that God
could to anything; He wanted them to know that His power was beyond merely healing
the sick; it was also about raising the dead.
wanted the disciples to see this type of amazing miracle practised on others so
that they would believe in a greater miracle-the resurrection of Jesus Christ
Now this part of the story of Lazarus is often overlooked Jn 11:16
Then Thomas who is called the twin, said to his fellow disciples, let us also
go so we may die with Him.
We always think of Thomas as doubting Thomas because of a moment
of weakness after Christ died & rose from the dead. Although he witnessed
the resurrection of Lazarus, he wanted to touch Christ's wound before believing
that He had risen. But this man wasn't a doubter his entire life! He was a man
of faith. Think about it. The rest of the disciples were warning Jesus that He
might be stoned to death if He returned to Judea, but Thomas said & I am
paraphrasing, "If He is going to die, we are going to die with Him"!
In other words I am with You Jesus.
Thomas demonstrated fearless faith when the other disciples wanted
to run the other way.
Martha had some faith & she really believed in Jesus. When she
heard that He was coming she ran to meet Him & the words that came out of
her mouth were faith words for she said Lord if you had been here my brother
would not have died Jn 11:21. In other words she believed that Jesus had the
ability to heal the sick, but maybe not the ability to raise one from the dead.
There are different levels of faith. Some people have faith to
heal the sick, but there aren't to many that have the faith to rise the dead.
Then you can see Martha's thinking shift in verse 22 But even now I know that
whatever you ask of God, God will give you.
Perhaps you are wondering why Martha thought that God would do
anything that Christ asked. Maybe it's because she heard Jesus say so! Martha
knew that prayer wasn't a gamble with Christ but an assurance.
Jesus told Martha with five simple words Your brother will rise
again Jn 11:23 Now you would think that she would have been hopeful at these
words, but no she wasn't sure, it wasn't a common occurrence that folk were
raised from the dead, so when Jesus spoke these words to her she put on a
religious mindset, putting a limit on God saying I know that he will rise again
in the resurrection at the last day (Jn 11:24)
see what happened here, Martha changed from faith to religion because of what
Jesus had said was extreme. Remember the first thing she told Jesus was that if
He had been there earlier He could have healed her brother. Then her faith
kicked up a notch & she said that the Father would do what ever Jesus
asked. But when confronted with a radical miracle, she changed back to limiting
God's power by saying she knew her brother would rise again at the last day at
the end of time when everybody would be resurrected.
She believed that Christ could heal her brother, but raising him
from the dead was too much. Notice Jesus didn't flinch in the face of Martha's
doubt. Jesus said to her I am the resurrection, & the life; he who believes
in Me, though he may die, he shall live. (Jn 11:25).
Martha expected a future resurrection, but Jesus surprised her
with a present resurrection in Himself. Jesus didn't flinch because He knew who
He was & He knew the God He served...The
Great I Am. Christ didn't say "I believe I am", He didn't
say "I think I am", He said "I
am the Resurrection", notice there is a comma after the word
Resurrection that means pause & think about it! Then there is a colon after
Life again you should pause & think about but a while longer! Jesus IS the
resurrection power. Jesus IS the life Jn 11:26 & whosoever lives & believes in Me shall never die...
You see that is the rule of faith if you don't believe, it is not
going to happen for you. Christ already has the faith to believe in Himself, He
knows what He can do because of the very power of creation is within Him. It's
your faith added to His power that brings about miracles.
Christ is the founder of Christianity, the only man capable of
making an appointment beyond the grave & turning up to keep it. Jesus told His
disciples, After I have risen I will go
before you to Galilee (Matt 26:32) If you visit the graves of those who
founded the religions of the world you will find that they are still occupied.
But If you visit the grave where they laid Jesus you find it empty & the
angels word still echo, "He's not here but is risen"! Those words
should turn every Christian burial into a celebration.
Jesus promised "because I live, you also will live".
Eventually you will die of something; the question is how can you die right?
There are two correct answers:
1. By preparing in advance, it was a truly human tombstone that
bore the inscription "I expected this but not yet." Here is how you
prepare for death. That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and
believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
The Greek word for believe is pisteuo. The verb form of pistis, is
faith it means to trust in to have faith in, be fully convinced of,
acknowledge, rely on. Pisteuo is more then credence in church doctrines or
articles of faith. It expresses reliance upon a personal trust that produces
obedience. It includes submission & a positive confession of the Lordship
of Jesus Christ.
2. By fulfilling your life's assignment. Jesus said in Jn 17:4
I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have
given Me to do. The petition of Jesus for Himself is not selfish, since His
desire is to glorify His Father. To glorify Him is to make Him known. Jesus
would soon be manifested as the Saviour of the world through His atoning death.
Believers in Him will know God & so possess eternal life. In the final
audit God will ask you as you stand before Him, "What did you do with the
gifts i gave you? Did you fulfil your assignment on earth? In that moment
nothing will be more important on how you answer that question.
Greek word for resurrection is anastasis meaning
standing up again, restoration to life, rising from the dead. A compound of
ana,"again" & histemi "to stand" The resurrection of
Jesus Christ is the first fruits or prototype of the future resurrection of all
that are in the grave. Anastasis is the coming resurrection that occurs at the
Judgement Day. Another usage of anastasis is a moral recovery of spiritual
truth. Most religions teach the concept of immorality, only the Christian faith
teaches bodily resurrection, We see this truth in Job 19:22-27 For I know that
my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin
is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see
for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
my heart yearns within me!
This is one of the Old Testaments greatest prophetic
affirmations of an anticipated Redeemer/ Saviour who will bring hope of a
literal, physical resurrection to redeem mankind. c/f 1 Cor 15:35-49. But
someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they
have?” What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t
grow into a plant unless it dies first. And what you put in the ground is not
the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are
planting. Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant
grows from each kind of seed. Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one
kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.
There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the
heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. The sun has
one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even
the stars differ from each other in their glory. It is the same way with the
resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we
die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in
brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but
they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but
they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies,
there are also spiritual bodies.
Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last
Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. What comes first is the natural
body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made from
the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. Earthly
people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man.
Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly
man. Jesus went to the cross for you, for each & every person, so that you
might live eternally with Him, but whilst you are in this world He wants you to
get ahead & the only way to that is to put His Word first in your life.
see the Bible is not just a text book, a storybook, or a history book. It's a
handbook for living. It's the wisdom of Almighty God written down so that you
can apply it to your everyday circumstances. God says that wisdom is the
principal thing.(prov 4:7). Principal means "first importance". That
means the Word of God needs to occupy the highest place of importance in your
activities. You will find that as you give God first place in your life you
will accomplish more than you would otherwise. You will be amazed what happens
in your life too, if you give God's Word priority. Don't wait till you think
you have time, satan will see to it that you never do, putting His Word first
is habit forming. Begin that addiction today. That may seem odd to you
especially if you don't have much interest in the Word right now. Believe me,
it's possible. I've done it myself, & have seen others to it time &
again, All you have to do is make that decision to give yourself to it, the
more you give yourself to it, the more your desire will grow. eventually it
will consume your thinking.
Surprised? You shouldn't be. That happens with
everything you give yourself to. It happens for example with people who give
themselves to pornography. as the focus their attention on it, the spirit
behind it moves in on their consciousness & eventually draws them from
mental activity to physical activity. Finally, they come to the place where
they can't be satisfied. They can't get enough. That same principal works on
the positive side when you begin to give yourself to God's Word. You can give
yourself to it to the point where it totally consumes your mental &
physical life. The more of it you get, the more of it you want. The Spirit
behind the Word, that is the Holy Spirit, will draw you & lead you closer
to Jesus than you ever imagined possible.
I have never met anybody yet that is walking
in faith & power who at some time hasn't developed that kind of addiction
by giving themselves totally to the Word. I don't mean just a few minutes but
some serious time. Determine to do that, Determine to become a Word addict.
once you do you'll never be willing to do without it again. I Cor 16:15 says I
urge you, brethern-you know the household of Stephanas, that is the first
fruits of Achaia,& that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the
& his household were among the first converts in Southern Greece & were
also among the first to be baptised by Paul. He & his family were engaged
in a loving ministry to others & deserved the church's loyalty.
To make God's Word your final authority means that you believe
absolutely what He says instead of believing what people say. It means
believing what He says instead of what satan says. It means believing what He
says instead of what circumstances say.
Determine in your heart to do that today. Make up your mind to
live by faith, not by sight. Fearlessly commit yourself to the authority of
God's Word & there wont be anything in this unstable world that can steal
your security from you.
Do you know what Jesus did on that cross at Calvary? He unlocked
the prison doors of guilt that have kept you captive. It doesn't matter who you
are or what you have been. It doesn’t matter if you have a prostitute, a
murderer, a thief, a drug dealer, or someone who has gone to church all your
life but have never made Jesus Christ the Lord of your Life the Bible says that
now is the day of salvation. 2Cor 6:2
A new life is only a prayer away.
Many years ago I read in the Bible That not even a sparrow falls
without God's knowledge. Matt 12;29)
I thought if God knows & cares about the sparrows falling He
must know what a terrible mess my life is in right now. & if He cares maybe
He can do something with it.
Now I didn't know anything about the Bible & didn't know for
sure that God would let me start over. But when I asked Him to take over my
life, something supernatural happened on the inside. I was born again.
You may worry about your past. You may say "I feel so guilty
When you have been born again & made a new creature in
Christ-that past doesn’t belong to you any more. & it would be ridiculous
to walk around feeling guilty about someone else's past wouldn't it?
What would you think if I took a little baby in my arms, a pretty
little girl, just a few months old, & said "she is so very precious, but oh what about her past"?
You would think that I was crazy. "What past"? you'd say, she doesn't have one"!
It is just the same with you once you have been born again. You
don't have any past. Your life begins again the day you make Jesus the Lord of
your life. Then when satan comes around trying to remind you of what you were
before, just tell him he's knocking on the wrong door.
You've been kicked around long enough. There is no need to wait
any longer. The prison door is open. Walk through to Jesus & let your life