Devotions for John 11:1-44–I Am the Resurrection and the Life
February 12-18, 2018
Monday, February 12, 2018–I Am the Resurrection and the Life
“Though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus … he stayed two days longer in the place where he was” (John 11:6).
The fact that Jesus did not respond immediately to the new of Lazarus’ sickness, does not alter the fact that Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters. Often as followers of Jesus we discover that God’s timing is different than our timing; God hesitates to rescue us from our predicament. God’s inaction does not disprove God’s steadfast love for us. God has decided to love us no matter what and that nothing will be able to separate us from God’s love. It is this truth on which we cling during through the good time and bad times of our lives.
Lord, thank you for your love. Amen.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018–I Am the Resurrection and the Life
“’Let us go to Judea Again’” (John 11:7).
Gary sat around a table sipping a beer with his friends. He knew that he needed to take a stand against the racist comments that several of them made. He also knew that if he did, he would probably hurt some feelings and lose some friends. Pastor Connie felt compelled to join the protest against the government’s inaction on DACA. As she made her placard and drove to the demonstration she knew that several members of her congregation would be upset with her participation. Some may even leave the congregation.
Jesus decided to return to Judea—to Bethany where his friends Martha, Mary and Lazarus lived. He knew that he was making a dangerous decision. Opposition to him was growing among the Pharisees and Sadducees. Plots were being made to arrest and imprison him. Still Jesus decided that he must continue his ministry no matter what the cost.
Following Jesus has its costs. It is, however, the path towards an abundant and free life.
Lord, empower us to follow you and serve others no matter what the cost. Amen.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018–I Am the Resurrection and the Life
“When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days” (John 11:17).
Even if Jesus had left immediately, he would not have arrived in Bethany in time to save Lazarus. His delay only made the situation appear more hopeless. A common Jewish belief was that the soul of the person hovered around the body for three days. Sometimes within those three days a person was resuscitated and came back to life. By day four, though, that possibility vanished.
For centuries, Christians have faced situations that appeared hopeless—almost as hopeless as raising the dead after four days. Any hope that Christians had was not based on a quick answer to their prayers, but rather on the truth that Jesus was present. When Jesus is present all things are possible.
Thank you, Lord, for you presence in our lives and for the fantastic possibilities that truth offers. Amen.
Thursday, February 15, 2018–I Am the Resurrection and the Life
“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21).
This was the thought on everyone’s mind. Martha said it. Mary repeated it in verse 32, and some of the Jews muttered it in verse 37. If Jesus had only been present, this tragedy could have been averted. It is amazing how often we have this very same thought—if only Jesus had been here we wouldn’t be in the particular predicament.
Faith and fact contradict our feelings, however. The fact is that Jesus has promised to be with us and that nothing in all of creation can separate us from him. Our faith trusts that God is true to God’s promises. Resting in God’s promises, we can look forward to the time when he will make all things new. All this will be done in God’s time and to God’s glory.
Lord, thank you that you never abandon us and you are always true to your promises. Amen.
Friday, February 16, 2018–I Am the Resurrection and the Life
“I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25).
The family joined the pastor around the hospital bed of their dying father. The pastor read the Service for the Commendation of the Dying. Making the sign of the cross on their father’s forehead, the pastor spoke the benediction. Family followed by sharing their “Good-bye” with their father. A few hours later their father took his last breath. At this tragic time, the family was comforted by their Christian faith and the belief that Jesus is the resurrection and the life.
In the face of death, we rejoice that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Our assurance is not simply built upon Sunday school lesson and sermons. As followers of Jesus, we have already experienced Jesus’ resurrection power in our daily lives. We have lost jobs only to find new and better ones. Relationships have ended, but were replaced by others. Opportunities to serve closed, yet other opportunities opened. Jesus is the resurrection and the life in life and in death.
Walking from death to life in not easy, Lord. Take our hand and walk with us, as we make the journey. Amen.
Saturday, February 17, 2018–I Am the Resurrection and the Life
“When Jesus saw her weeping … he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved” (John 11:33).
When Juanita lost her job, three of her closest friends gathered around her, wept with her and supported her. A couple of months later when Juanita found a new job, her friends celebrated with her. The women were not alone in either their grief or their joy. Jesus was with them sharing their tears and their laughter.
When bad things happen or when evil appears to win, our faith assures us that God is with us. God, though, is not an uncaring bystander. Sharing our pain and shedding tears with us, God embraces us with love, whispers words of encouragement to our hearts, strengthens our flagging spirits and gives us peace.
Thank you, Lord, that you fully share all of our lives with us. Amen.
Sunday, February 18, 2018–I Am the Resurrection and the Life
“He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus come out” (John 11:43)!
From the place of death, Lazarus heard the words of Jesus. “Come out,” Jesus commanded. Lazarus felt new life flow into his body and suddenly had the strength to move and to obey Jesus’ command. Death no longer had its victory in Lazarus’ life.
From our places of death, Jesus calls to us, “Come out!” The bonds of our captors have been broken. New life has flowed into our beings. Hope has replaced despair. God has given us the strength to obey God’s commands. We come out from depression, despair and death, bask in the sun and warmth of a new day and experience the new life, which has been given to us. Death is swallowed up in victory. Death has lost its sting (1 Corinthians 15:54-55).
Thank you, Lord, for the breath of new life. Empower us that we may live this new life for you. Amen.