The dead will rise
Reading: John 11: 1-45
Additional reading: Psalm 130: 1-8, Rom 8:6-11
Hymns: 464, 391 (v.1-4), 276 (or 276, 391, 538)
About this time, some Jewish people were trying to kill Jesus.
They were blaming Jesus for dishonoring and blaspheming God.
So they wanted to stone Jesus to death.
But they were greatly mistaken about who Jesus is.
Anyway, Jesus ran away at that time, because he didn’t want to die yet.
He planned to die during the feast of the Passover.
And if he didn't want to die, he could get away anytime.
If he refused to die, no one could kill him.
He had all the power for his own life.
(2) But anyway after some incidents, Jesus left Jerusalem with his students and stayed there for awhile.
But some of his friends who were near Jerusalem were looking for him.
Because his friend Lazarus got very ill and was about to die.
So Martha and Mary sent a man to Jesus to come quickly and heal him.
But Jesus didn’t come.
So, Lazarus died.
And people were complaining about Jesus.
But Jesus didn’t come because it was not God’s timing for him to come yet.
So Jesus waited for God’s timing.
Then some days after Lazarus died, Jesus was coming.
God asked him to come because God wanted to prove that it was God who sent Jesus to them.
And God wanted to receive his glory through his friend Lazarus.
Knowing he could raise Lazarus from the dead, Jesus arrived there.
But Martha was like:
“Master, Lazarus was dead for four days!
If you were here, Lazarus, my brother wouldn't have died.
(Then looking at his eyes)
But even now, I know whatever you pray, God will give it to you.”
Jesus was like:
“I will raise your brother up as I can raise the dead to life.”
Martha was like:
He will rise again in the day of resurrection, at the last day???”
Jesus was like: (v 25-26)
“I am right now the Resurrection and the Life.
The resurrection is in God.
The resurrection is in me.
The resurrection happens through God.
The resurrection happens in me and through me.
“So, those who believe in me will live, even though they die!
All those who die in believing in me, does not really die.
They live forever.
And Lazarus who believe in me, can experience the Resurrection, even right now.
Do you believe this?”
Martha could not understand because it was beyond her imagination.
So, she said what she thought that Jesus was saying:
“I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
Then she called her sister, Mary, thinking Mary might understand what Jesus was saying.
But Mary said the same:
“Master, if you were here, my brother wouldn't have died.”
Then she cried with her friends.
So Jesus wept:
Jesus feels for them when his people cry.
Jesus feels for them because he loves them.
Meaning, Jesus does not want you to cry.
So, on the contrary, when you cry before him, it becomes a powerful prayer.
But at this time others were still complaining.
They were like:
“Hey, if he loved him so much, what’s up with coming so late?
He could have healed Lazarus, just like he opened the eyes of a blind man.”
But Jesus didn’t come late!
Jesus never comes late!
He always comes in God’s timing.
So Jesus always trusts in God’s perfect timing.
Then Jesus came to the tomb and asked them to remove the stone, in front of the tomb.
Martha was like:
“Every burial process has been done.
Lazarus was already dead.”
But Jesus was like:
He is asleep.
If you believe, you would see the glory of God.”
Then, Jesus prayed something like this:
“Father, I know you are listening to me.
But I speak aloud so that these people may hear and then believe that you sent me.
Thank you for listening and answering my prayer.”
Then, Jesus was like:
“Lazarus, wake up and come out!”
Then Lazarus came out.
He came back to life because Jesus called him to live for God again.
The words of Jesus has power in heaven and on earth.
What he says happens always.
Jesus does not say an empty word like other human beings.
Because Jesus is the Word of God.
His word has authority and power in heaven and on earth.
So he speaks to change the world and to judge the world.
So we pay attention to his words since it is true.
And because everything happens according to his words.
Lazarus died later in his old age.
So this was not a full resurrection.
But one day Jesus will call him again to live forever with his physical body.
Meaning, Jesus will return to prove Jesus is the Resurrection and Life again.
But even now if Jesus wants, anybody could experience the Resurrection and life that Lazarus experienced.
Today we hear Jesus speaking this simple but very power words:
“Lazarus, come out.”
He was able to speak like this because he was in the realm of the Spirit.
In the realm of the Spirit, he spoke to bring Lazarus out of the dead.
The mind that is governed by the flesh could not understand this.
Because the mind that is governed by the flesh is death.
That kind of mind is hostile to God.
It does not submit to God’s law.
So those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
But the mind that is governed by the Spirit can do what God says.
So the mind that is governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
They experience eternal life and eternal peace.
So when we are in the realm of the Spirit, we could also speak to raise the dead to life if that is God’s will.
When we welcome the Spirit of Jesus into our hearts, we belong to Christ.
When we have the Spirit of Christ in us, this Spirit of Jesus teaches us and guides us.
Then one day, our body may die because of sin, but the Spirit gives life because of the righteousness of Jesus that is formed within us.
When His Spirit lives in us, this Spirit of Jesus can give life to our mortal bodies.
Then we will rise again one day: Romans 8:6-11
Jesus will return one day to gives eternal life and heavenly peace in its full measure.
Those who believe in Jesus, those who welcome Jesus in their hearts, will live with him forever.
When we have his hope, the Bible encourages us to seek the Lord and his righteousness and his humility; and do what he commands: Zephaniah 2:3
Then God will save us on the day of the Lord’s anger.
The Bible also encourages us to pray like this: Isaiah 26:20-21
“Enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you.
Hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.
The Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins.”
So when Jesus returns, he will separate the righteous and the unrighteous.
He will separate those who believe in Him and those who do not believe.
He will separate these two, based on their belief and their life.
But historically, some misunderstood about Jesus’ return.
Or they misused this concept of Jesus’ return to deceive many people.
They taught like this:
They separated Jesus from his spirit.
Then they said that Jesus sent his spirit to their cult leader to act like the returned Jesus.
But in a sense all Christians received his spirit.
Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to his people.
Jesus sends his spirit to us so that we Christians could be his body together and live for Jesus together and live like Jesus together.
As we receive the Holy Spirit, we become like little Jesus.
We become his body.
BUT we are not the returned Jesus.
When Jesus talked about his returns, he talked about his physical return.
Jesus talked about his second coming like this: Luke 17:24
“For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.”
“At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory: Luke 21:27-28
When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Jesus will return physically.
In his second coming, he would be back with his physical body.
And everyone can see him right away.
Just like, Jesus was raised from the dead with his physical body.
Just like, Jesus ascended into heaven with his physical body.
Jesus would come back with his physical body.
Jesus didn’t promise to send another messiah for each generation.
Jesus didn’t promise to send another messiah to rewrite another book claiming that they are God.
But just like, Jesus rose from the dead physically: (Luke 24:39)
Just like, Jesus ascended into heaven physically: (Acts 1:9; Luke 24:50–51).
Jesus himself will return physically.
What does it mean?
Jesus became fully and completely human.
So Jesus didn’t just look like a human.
He didn’t just have some aspects of humanity.
He has a human body, a human mind, and a human soul: Luke 24:39, Luke 2:52, Matthew 26:38.
He possess full humanity.
Then what happened, when Jesus ascended to heaven?
Did he throw away his body and stop being a human when he arrived in heaven?
Did Jesus become only God again?
No, Jesus is and will be fully human forever.
Jesus is right now still fully human.
Jesus will continue being human with his physical body forever.
And yet Jesus is fully and completely God as he said:
“I and my Father are one!” (John 10:30)
Meaning, “I am God.”
So the church reminds people that Jesus has two natures.
Jesus is fully divine and fully human.
Jesus is God and human.
Jesus is 100% God and 100% human forever.
His human nature does not become divine in some ways.
His divine nature does not become human in some ways.
His each nature remains distinct.
Each nature does not change.
That is, in Jesus, all the fullness of God dwells in a human body: Colossians 2:9.
And even though Jesus is God and human, he is one person, forever.
Jesus is not two persons.
There are no two persons within Jesus.
Jesus is one person who has two nature.
Jesus has two natures that are united together to be one Person.
Now when Jesus returns, Jesus will transform our bodies into his glorious body: Philippians 3:21
He will transform our bodies to be like his.
What kind of body is this?
What is this body of his glory?
His body is free from sins.
So our body will be free from sins.
And this new body cannot die: (1 Corinthians 15:42)
It is eternal: (2 Corinthians 5:1)
So Jesus and his people will live together in their bodies forever.
God has the power to save people like this.
Today Jesus shows us the power to raise his people to life.
We see Jesus has the power in heaven and on the earth.
Jesus has the power to give eternal life and eternal peace.
Those who welcome Jesus into their hearts will live with him and be with him forever.
Those who believe in him and live according to his will will be with Jesus forever.
If we ask, Jesus will help us to believe and live according to his will so that we may see the glory of God.
Jesus, thank you for your coming.
Thank you for your teaching.
Help us to believe in you.
Help us to believe that you are the resurrection and life.
Help us to forgive all people.
Help us to live in your power.
We pray in your name.