Christian Home Week Fall 2013: Preview

Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life

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We have seen a lot of death in the past few weeks at FBC Killeen. Part of my testimony is that it was the death of my father when I was four and grandfather when I was six that led me to my Christian salvation. It was also the death of my parents at such a young age in their early 30s that led me to go into the ministry. If you are parents of young children, you may think death is too strong of a topic to discuss, but based on my testimony I would disagree. Children need to know about death and more importantly, the victory of Christ over the grave.

A natural place to turn to is John Chapter 11. But too often in this chapter, many readers will rush to see Jesus “resurrect” Lazarus (actually Lazarus is not truly resurrected, but raised from the dead). There are several lessons that we can learn from death, sickness, and grief before we get to the chapter’s climax.

Lesson 1 (verse 3): Affliction can be interceded for. We can go to God in prayer for the sick and the dying, like Martha and Mary did. Unlike eastern religions, sickness is not a result of bad karma. Unlike certain cults, sickness is not a state of mind or a result of lack of faith. James 5 tells us it is one of the functions of the church leadership to pray for the sick. Mark 16:18 states we should expect healing to occur. One of the signs that Jesus was the Christ was that He healed people. It is not uncommon for a church prayer list to be filled with requests for healing from illnesses because the Bible tells us to pray for those who are sick and suffer other afflictions. We should pray for those who are sick.

Lesson 2 (verse 4): Death and sicknesses can be instruments for God’s glory. If we do not see instantaneous healings, it may not because of a lack of faith, but because God seeks to glorify Himself through it all. The Bible says those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength (Isaiah40:31).

Lesson 3: (verses 6-10): Death is intentional. Jesus purposely waited for Lazarus to die. God has a purpose in death, primarily to save us from this sinful world. Read Genesis 3:22-24--God purposely disallows us from living forever in this fallen state of sin. But if we walk with Jesus, His light will guide us, regardless of the circumstances around you (John 11:10-11). A frequent statement made by missionaries serving God is “The best place to be is in the center of God’s will.” It is not a guarantee that you won’t encounter death, but it is assured that God will be glorified.

Lesson 4 (verses 11-15): Death is inevitable. Heb. 9:27 says everyone will die. For a Christian it is temporary, and some day God will raise us. Notice in verse 15 that something that caused grief to Mary and Martha caused Jesus to be glad because it helped them to believe. Through adversity we grow stronger in our faith. Ps. 116:15 calls death “precious” in God’s eyes.

Lesson 5 (verses 16-27): Death is NOT invincible. Since death is guaranteed, we have cause to rejoice that Jesus has overcome and defeated it and offers it to us. The only way to beat death is to have a belief in Jesus Christ. Belief to the Christian is not just agreement, but it is an assurance, it is putting faith in the only One who can deliver us from death by beating death Himself.

Pray This Prayer To God: “Lord Jesus, I say with Martha, ‘I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’ Give me faith when I face adversity, sickness and even death that You are in charge. Help me understand that your delays only allow for greater deliverances. In your holy name I pray. Amen.”


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