Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Resurrection Day 2019.
MAL 3:16, Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.
It is indeed a privilege to celebrate our LORD’s resurrection and HIS life with one another as we are doing this morning. GOD the Holy Spirit never ceases to amaze me concerning the doctrinal information that He gives His people to use, honor, and obey the “resurrection and the life” that GOD the Holy Spirit has implanted in our souls.
JOH 11:18-19, Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off; and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.
Notice what a fantastic opportunity and illustration we have for both Martha and Mary, to glorify our LORD even through their brother’s death.
When it comes to the death of a friend, or a family member, or a neighbor, the LORD has given us everything that we would ever need to bring glory to GOD…even through death.
Let me try to give you an idea as to what was about to happen to Lazarus of Bethany (not the beggar), Mary and her sister Martha. By the way, all three individuals in this section of the Word of GOD were believers and were facing one of the most difficult trials in this life = Death.
HEB 2:14-15, Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
The Greek here tells us that Lazarus was a close friend to our LORD. Just like Enoch, Abraham, Job, Moses and David were, just to name a few. However, there are a few more who our LORD is willing to call Friends and more that he is not ashamed to call them Brethren.
First of all, who is called a friend of GOD? The answer to that is found beginning in JOH 15:12-13, “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
Now, who can be called our LORD’s friends? In JOH 15:14-21, our LORD tells us: “You are My friends, if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.’”
And, does our LORD feel ashamed of you, or me?
HEB 2:11, For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.
In fact, that is one of the reasons why we have one of the shortest verses in the Bible in JOH 11:35 which says, “Jesus wept.”
Let’s take a picture of this passage in our soul.
In JOH 11:30-35, Now Jesus had not yet come into the village but was still in the place where Martha met Him. The Jews then who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “LORD, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her, also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit, and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “LORD, come and see.” Then in JOH 11:35, “Jesus wept.”
Now, there have been many attempts to give the reason why Jesus Wept. Some say HE wept because HE was observing the lack of faith and trust that Martha and Mary both had. Others say HE wept because HE was looking death right in the face and HE knew what death had done to the human race and what HE was going to have to do to overcome it; (death).
Remember that HE was about to go through the sufferings before the Cross and then the sufferings on the Cross. Whatever the real reason was that caused our LORD to weep we probably will not find that out in this life.
Therefore, in JOH 11:36-37, And so the Jews were saying, “Behold how He loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have kept this man also from dying?”
Look once again where we can see our LORD being judged by certain Jews even after He performs a miracle and after HE raises certain people from the dead!
Why did certain Jews STILL judge our LORD? The answer to that is one word – implacable. They were jealous of our LORD and hated to see Him loved, honored, and respected. This is another reason why “If they persecute Him, they will persecute you and me. If they hated HIM they are going to hate us. If they loved and honored our LORD, they will love and honor us. Look at how our LORD taught this same principle in MAT 10.
MAT 10:40-42, “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward.”
Alright, we still need to note a few more principles from JOH 11 so that we can understand the real message that our LORD wanted HIS disciples to learn concerning the Resurrection.
Let me give you some principles to follow concerning the death of a loved one and the lack of faith that many believers have concerning GOD’s ability to bless us and to save us or deliver us even in death. Notice some of the principles that so many of GOD’s people have to deal with which are found in JOH 11.
Here are some of the points needed to glorify our LORD even in physical death:
- Lazarus was not just a follower of our LORD, but he was best friends with our LORD; JOH 11:1.
The word that tells us this is the word “certain” which the Bible says about Lazarus, who was called a “Certain Man”
- Lazarus had been sick for a while, to the point of death according to what Martha and Mary said concerning their brother Lazarus.
- The woman in our passage who is known as Mary of Bethany, was the same Mary who had anointed the LORD with ointment and wiped His feet with her hair.
- Both Martha and Mary knew how close Lazarus and Jesus were in JOH 11:3, “The sisters therefore sent to Him, saying, “LORD, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
- Our LORD is going to reveal that Lazarus’s sickness and death was for the glory of GOD, that the Son of GOD may be glorified by it; JOH 11:4.”
Look at JOH 11:4, But when Jesus heard it, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of GOD, that the Son of GOD may be glorified by it.”
- There are times that the LORD will delay when dealing with us so that He can teach us patience; JOH 11:6 When therefore HE heard that he was sick, HE stayed then two days longer in the place where HE was.
Note that our LORD purposely delayed HIS coming so that Martha and Mary were both tested concerning their relationship with our LORD and their trust and faith that they should have because of our LORD.
Look at JOH 11:20-21, Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him; but Mary still sat in the house. Martha therefore said to Jesus, “LORD, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.
We are right back to the Garden of Eden when Adam and his woman blamed the LORD. It’s all your fault LORD! And then comes the accusations; JOH 11:22, “Even now I know that whatever You ask of GOD, GOD will give You.”
It’s amazing how many times GOD’s people will keep on pushing an issue and then completely turn around and go in the opposite direction and then also blame others for the direction when it was ours!
In JOH 11:23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother shall rise again.” Then continuing in JOH 11:24 Martha said to HIM, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” This is Martha, a typical individual who thinks she has a lot of works to do but what she really needs to do is what her younger sister Mary was known to do, and that is to sit at the feet of Jesus and they both needed to get straightened out if they are to survive.
JOH 11:25-26, Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
The notice JOH 11:30-32, Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him. The Jews then who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “LORD, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
She is blaming the LORD again because HE was not there in her timing but He was going to come in GOD’s timing.
JOH 11:33-36, When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her, also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit, and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “LORD, come and see.” Jesus wept. And so the Jews were saying, “Behold how He loved him!”
In other words, in GOD’s time, HE will reveal HIS love no matter what sight says. So that in JOH 11:38-45, Jesus therefore again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “LORD, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you, if you believe, you will see the glory of GOD?” And so they removed the stone. And Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank Thee that Thou heardest Me. And I knew that Thou hearest Me always; but because of the people standing around I said it, that they may believe that Thou didst send Me.” And when He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” He who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings; and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Many therefore of the Jews, who had come to Mary and beheld what He had done, believed in Him.
And there lies one of the main reasons that our LORD performed certain miracles, He wanted to draw people to the miracle so that they would be more open to our LORD and in many cases, some even believed.
There’s always some legalistic people who cannot stand to hear good news and so they like to fink to others to try and stop what is going on.
JOH 11:46-47, But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done. Therefore, the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs.
Finally, in JOH 11:53 we read: So from that day on they [religious people] planned together to kill Him.
There is our LORD’s #1 enemy.
There is the Apostle Paul’s #1 enemy.
And there is our #1 enemy = Religion.
All have the same problem of religion trying to discredit our LORD, kill our LORD, and destroy anything about our lives that glorify our LORD = all which points to:
The evil of religion.
The evil of legalism.
The lies of the GOD of this world, Satan promotes.
This past week we let’s look at one of the oldest books in the Bible, the book of Job. In JOB 23, Job is in the middle of speaking to our LORD and wondering what has been going on in his personal life.
However, no matter what you read or think that you’re reading, the LORD tells us exactly what He thinks of Job; EZE 14:14, even though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job [all winner believers] were in its midst, by their own righteousness they could only deliver themselves, “declares the LORD GOD.
No matter which way you cut it, or look at it, Job was a winner believer. His so-called friends will be little wimpy as they have no idea what Job is going through and still keep on judging him as though he was guilty. Or, they will also say such things like Job was and is a complainer who was never content. Again –more lies from the Cosmic system!