NOTE: There are two stories told as a part of the message today. Chemane Trimble - runs from minute 24 to 36 of this podcast Debi Johnson - runs from minute 36 to 41.
Jesus uses a powerful word picture to describe what happens when a
person embraces the Good News & puts their trust in Christ is found
in John 5:24
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My word & believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from deathtolife…
From death… to life. One of the best examples of this found in Scripture
is in the story of Jesus’ dear friend, Lazarus. Lazarus was ill - &
not getting better. The writing was on the wall, & his sisters,
Mary & Martha, sent word to Christ from their home in Bethany that
He needed to come quickly or Lazarus would die. His disciples heard it,
the people around Him heard it, & yet… Jesus decided to wait a
couple of days before heading off. It wasn’t too long after this that
the tragic news came: Lazarus had died. And yet Jesus said it was going
to be alright. No one knew how this could be the case.
Jesus & His disciples headed off to Bethany, arriving there a full 4
days after Lazarus had died & been entombed. Martha, in her grief,
indignantly told Jesus, “If You’d been here, my brother wouldn’t have
died.” Jesus declared:
“I am the resurrection & the life.Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, & everyone who lives & believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord.”
At this point, Jesus told those gathered to remove the stone that sealed Lazarus’ tomb… there was great protestations: “He’s been in there 4 days – the body will have started decomposing… & it will stink.” Jesus’ reply, “If you believe, you WILL see the glory of God.” Then, Jesus called his friend, saying, “Lazarus, come out!” And he did. All wrapped in burial cloths – having passed from death to life. And there was great rejoicing. And many, many people came to put their trust in Christ after the telling of the story of Christ’s great miracle. (Check out the Gospel of John 11 for the whole story.)
Now, we might never have physically died & then been brought back to
life – but, by putting our trust in Christ & following Him, that is
EXACTLY what is happening. And when we tell our stories, Jesus gets all the glory, & people have an opportunity to decide just what they’re going to do in response.