Saturday, May 7, 2011
Deader than Dead
Everyone knows the blue error screen that comes up. You know the windows one that encourages you to hit an option to restart and reload and hopefully get everything back up and running the way it was before.
Then there is the black screen of death, the land of no recovery. That's where mine is now. No service will be held. The new one is already on it's way. The laptop, thankfully, is serving as temporary stand-in until it gets here. It is doing a fine job, but it is a bit unfamiliar since I don't use it as much.
How dead is dead? When someone is dead you know it. There is no doubt. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave, he had already been in there for 4 days. In fact, after Jesus heard that he was sick, he stayed where he was for an extra 2 days. Jesus knew that he would die, of course. He just wanted Lazarus to be very, very dead by the time he got there, so that the doubters would have no room to argue that he really wasn't dead, after all.
The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died. So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.” John 11:12-14
Of course, by the time they got there he was indeed dead. Martha was concerned about how bad it would smell when Jesus told them to roll away the stone, yet she and her sister believed that Jesus could do it. They knew who He was.
Many of the Jews there believed that Jesus was the Messiah after they witnessed this miracle, this man who had command over death itself. However, many of the Jewish leaders were concerned and deeply troubled at this because they thought it meant certain destruction of the religious hierarchy they had constructed for themselves. They thought it meant death to them as a people, instead Jesus was trying to bring them life.
From that point on, they sought to kill Jesus. Not only that, they wanted to kill Lazarus as well! Imagine, having been raised back to life, hopping out of the grave bound in stinking grave clothes, only to find out that somebody was plotting your death......
It always amazes me, this account in John. It amazes me that someone could see a miracle like that and not only not believe, but be so threatened that they would seek to stamp out Jesus, who was the very embodiment of the God that they thought they so sincerely believed. He was right in front of them and yet they still couldn't bring themselves to believe, despite the many miracles they witnessed day after day.
Some people think that all religions are the same, but here lies the HUGE difference that makes Christianity stand out from all the rest:
Buddha, Confucius, Mohammad, Gandhi, L. Ron Hubbard, to name a few.......All Deader than Dead.
Jesus is alive. He rose from the dead on the third day and He intercedes for us today at the right hand of the Father, and is alive within us in the form of His Holy Spirit, who testifies to this truth.