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John 11:18-27 JESUS: THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE

Intro: John's Gospel is filled with many vivid portraits of the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone is a masterpiece of His greatness and His glory. In this chapter, the greatest of all the miracles of Jesus is on display. In the events surrounding the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead, we can see the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. If all His other miracles were stricken from the Gospel record and all we were left with was this great miracle, we would have enough in our possession to conclude that Jesus is the Son of God.

This morning, I would like for us to look together at these magnificent verses and get a glimpse of Jesus as The Resurrection and The Life. In doing so, I intend to show you how Jesus can make all the difference in your life now and in your eternity later. I want to show you why Jesus is worthy of your faith and what He can do in your life if you will only trust Him. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 15:19, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." I want to show you why we do not have to live in misery, why life does not have to be a time of defeat, why you do not have to fear the day of your death, how you can enjoy an abundant and full life. I want to tell you what it takes to come to know Jesus Christ and the glorious life that He can give. Let's take a few minutes to have an encounter with Jesus The Resurrection And The Life.

I. V. 21 THE PROBLEM THAT HAD THEM DEFEATED

(Ill. Lazarus was dead and grief had invaded a once happy home. One whom they had loved so dearly was snatched from their presence and they were devastated.)

A. Death Is An Ugly Event - It invades our homes and brings with it division, discouragement, disillusionment and defeat. When someone dies, we are literally ripped apart.

(Ill. Visitors to the Fiji Islands tell of a strange custom of "calling to the dead." The one who has suffered bereavement climbs to a high tree or a cliff, and after mentioning the name of the deceased he cries out pathetically, "Come back! Come back!" The heart-rending wail is filled with despair, with only the mocking echoes to underscore its sad frustration! Those who have recently lost a precious companion, a dear friend, or a beloved child, can well appreciate the forlorn figure. Just imagine the look upon his face as with tears streaming down his cheeks he pitifully continues to plead for the return of his loved one.)

B. Death Is A Universal Event - Heb. 9:27; Gen. 3:19; Rom. 5:12 all speak of the reality of death. One day, whether we like it or not, or whether we believe it or not, we will all die.

(Ill. I don't know if you have noticed it or not, but death is getting steadily closer to you every minute of every day. One day, your time will run out - Someone has mathematically calculated a schedule that compares the average lifetime with a single day, beginning at 7 a.m. If your age is:

15, the time is 10:25 a.m.

25, the time is 12:42 p.m.

35, the time is 3:00 p.m.

45, the time is 5:16 p.m.

55, the time is 7:34 p.m.

65, the time is 9:55 p.m.

70, the time is 11:00 p.m. Please notice that it is always later than you think it is!)

C. Death Is An Unexpected Event - (Ill. Martha and Mary probably thought that Lazarus would recover from his sickness and that everything would return to normal. Death had other ideas!)

(Ill. Even though men know death is coming, it still seems to take them all by surprise. According to an old fable, a man made an unusual agreement with Death. He told the grim reaper that he would willingly accompany him when it came time to die, but only on one condition--that Death would send a messenger well in advance to warn him. The agreement was made. Weeks winged away into months, and months into years. Then one bitter winter evening, as the man sat alone thinking about all his material possessions, Death suddenly entered the room and tapped him on the shoulder. The man was startled and cried out in despair, "You're here so soon and without warning! I thought we had an agreement." Death replied, "I've more than kept my part. I've sent you many messengers. Look at yourself in the mirror and you'll see some of them." As the man complied, Death whispered, "Notice your hair! Once it was full and black, now it is thin and white. Look at the way you cock your head to listen to my voice because you can't hear very well. Observe how close you must get to the mirror in order to see yourself clearly. Yes, I've sent many messengers through the years. I've kept my part. It's too bad you didn't keep yours. I'm sorry you're not ready for me, but the time has come to leave.")

(Ill. Do not be guilty of letting death sneak up on you and catch you unprepared. There is a great need for being ready, and there is no excuse for not being ready - Pro. 27:1; James 4:14.)

(Ill. The Rich Fool - Luke 12:16-20. He thought that he would continue to live and enjoy his life and his riches, but death came and found him unprepared. Don't let this happen to you!)

(Ill. Salvation is the ONE area of life where men are foolish to delay their decision for Jesus - 1 Cor. 6:2. You can put off paying taxes, changing your oil, or doing other things that you probably never think of putting off. Yet, too often, men will put off their salvation until the time to die comes and catches them unprepared and they have to go out into a lost eternity apart from God. Do not let that happen to you!)

(Ill. A mother was answering her young daughter's questions about her daddy's death. "God sent for him," she explains. "And someday He will send for you and me. Nobody knows just when." Thinking about that for a moment, the child said, "Momma, if we don't know for sure when God is going to send for us, we might not be ready. We'd better start packing!" She was right. No one knows when God is going to "send for us," but we do know how to wait for that day. Whether He calls us through death (Psalm 23:4) or when Christ returns to take us home (1 Thess. 4:17), we should always be ready.)

(Ill. The story is told of a family that moved into a new community. They were promptly visited by two elders and the pastor of a nearby church who cordially invited them to attend the services on the Lord's Day. The man assured them that he would come just as soon as he got straightened out. Several months passed, and he still hadn't put in an appearance, so the minister called again and repeated his invitation. But he received the same reply. The fellow hadn't yet gotten everything straightened out. A few weeks later he died, and his widow asked to have the funeral services in the church. The preacher graciously agreed. It was indeed a sad affair. Later when a member of the congregation asked the pastor if the man was a Christian, he answered, "He never attended services here, and no one can recall ever hearing him give a testimony of his faith in Christ, so I can't say. I only know he was a man of his word. He promised to come to church just as soon as he got straightened out - and he did!" )

I. The Problem That Had Them Defeated

II. V. 25a THE POWER JESUS DESCRIBED

(Ill. Jesus claimed to possess power over the grave. He claimed title as the Resurrection and the Life. That is, He said that He possesses this power within Himself. Therefore, when you know Jesus Christ, you know life, 1 John 5:12. What right does Jesus have to make such claims? Let's look at what the Bible says about His life giving power.)

A. Jesus Raised Others From The Dead - Jairus's daughter - Mark 5:41-42; the Widow of Nain's son - Luke 7:11 and Lazarus - John 11:43-44. Jesus proved His power over death and the grave by raising these people from the dead.

B. Jesus Promised To Raise His Followers From The Dead - 1 Cor. 15:20-23; 1 Thes. 4:13-17. Those who have trusted Jesus as their personal Savior can have the confidence that Jesus will one day resurrect their bodies from the grave.

C. Jesus Raised Himself From The Dead - (Ill. His horrible death on the cross at Calvary. If the story ended there, it would be the utmost of tragedy. But, thank God, three days after His death on the cross, Jesus came out of His tomb, victorious over death, Hell and the grave - Matt. 28:1-6)

D. With this in mind, the saints of God can face death with confidence, knowing that one day, these bodies will live again. (Ill. By the way, if the body does die, the spirit lives on, 2 Cor. 5:8.)

(Ill. This truth is plainly seen in the story of the Rich Man And Lazarus, Luke 16:19-31. It is as if Jesus lifted the veil that separates us from death and showed us what happens to the souls of men after death. Every saint of God goes to be with the Lord and those who refused to come to Jesus can only look forward to an eternity in Hell forever.)

I. The Problem That Had Them Defeated

II. The Power Jesus Described

III. V. 25b-26a THE PROMISE JESUS DECLARED

A. Jesus Cures Spiritual Death - (Eph. 2:1-4) Jesus has the power to take a life destroyed by sin and give it a brand new start. He specializes in giving dead men new life - 2 Cor. 5:17. He can take away the stains of sin and give anyone a fresh start - Isa. 1:18.

(Ill. Lazarus - everything was over for him. There was to be no more family, no more friends, no more joy, no more anything. His life was over, until Jesus passed by and that made the difference between the end and a new beginning. In John 12, we find Lazarus sitting at the table and dining with the Lord Jesus. Jesus gave him a new life, and He can do the same for you.)

B. Jesus Conquers Death For His Children - Those who place their faith in Jesus Christ will never die! According to God's Word, we have passed from death unto life, John 5:24 and we shall live forever, John 8:51; 1 John 5:10-11.

C. The Common Requirement - To receive the promise of Christ and be rescued from spiritual death and from the power of the grave, you have to believe on Jesus. That is, you must trust Jesus and Him alone for your soul's salvation, Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9-10. The Bible does not teach us to trust our works, our goodness, or our religion to earn our salvation. Neither can we place our confidence in the church or in a changed life. Salvation comes only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Eph. 2:8-9. Do not be deceived, any plan that neglects Jesus and His shed blood is doomed to failure from the start, Pro. 16:25; Acts 4:12; Heb. 2:3.

1. Works will never get the job done - Gal. 2:16

2. Turning over a new leaf will never get the job done - Matt. 12:43-45.

3. Religion will never get the job done - Titus 3:5

4. When you come to trust Jesus, you will find that the job is already done - 1 John 2:2; Isa. 53:6.

(Ill. When Jesus died on the cross, some of the last words out of His mouth were, "It is finished!" Please notice that He did not say, "I am finished." This was not the cry of a defeated dying men, this was the triumphant shout of a great victor. It is the cry of One who has completed His task and fulfilled His mission. When Jesus died on the cross, He finished the plan of salvation for all men. Now, anyone who receives Jesus finds that salvation has been prepared and paid for in full. All the lost sinner has to do is receive the finished work of Jesus as his own.)

I. The Problem That Had Them Defeated

II. The Power Jesus Described

III. The Promise Jesus Declared

IV. V. 26b THE PLEA JESUS DELIVERED

(Ill. Jesus closes His conversation with Martha by asking her of her faith. You see, it does not matter what she has heard or has seen what matters in the end is that her faith be placed in Jesus and in Jesus alone. Why is this so vitally important?)

A. This Is The Only Plan That Guarantees Entrance Into Heaven - Acts 4:12.

B. This Is The Only Plan That Guarantees Escape From Sin And From All Its Baggage - Sin carries with it a tremendous price tag. In fact, people start receiving the dividends of sin as soon as they come into the world. Salvation delivers the believer from several of the most vicious aspects of sin's power.

1. Salvation Delivers From The Power Of Sin - Rom. 6:14

2. Salvation Delivers From The Penalty Of Sin - Rom. 5:9

3. Salvation Delivers From The Presence Of Sin - Rev. 21:27

C. This Is The Only Plan That Is Endorsed By God - John 14:6

D. If you learn nothing else this morning, at least learn that you must be born again, John 3:3, 7. That is, at least learn that you must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ if you expect to miss Hell, go to Heaven and experience the life that can only be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Conc: I suppose the best way to end this message is with the question that Jesus posed to Martha in verse 26, Believest thou this?" How you answer that question will decide your eternity. If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ, then I invite you to come to Him right now. He loves you and will receive you. If you will only come to Him, He will give you everlasting life without charge. If you have the least bit of concern about where you will spend eternity think long and hard about what you will do with Jesus.

(Ill. "Bruce Larson in his book, Living Beyond Our Fears, tells a great story about a judge in Yugoslavia who had an unfortunate accident. He was electrocuted when he reached up to turn on the light while standing in the bathtub. His wife found his body sprawled on the bathroom floor. He was pronounced dead and, as was the custom in that particular town, he was placed in a room under a crypt in the town cemetery for 24 hours before burial. In the middle of the night, the judge came to, realized where he was, and rushed over to alert the guard, who promptly ran off terrified.

"Fortunately, he returned with a friend, and they released the newly revived judge, whose first thought was to phone his wife and reassure her. He got no farther than, 'Darling, it's me--' when she screamed and fainted. Next he went to the houses of several friends, who were sure he was a ghost. In a last desperate measure, he called a friend in a distant city, who had not heard of his death, and who interceded for him with his family and friends.")

Imagine the shock that your lost friends would feel when they saw the difference that Jesus can make in you.

Sermon By Alan Carr

 




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