Lazarus

As we look at the story of Lazarus we see the deep compassion that Jesus has for his friends and the hope that we can have in his healing power. The ultimate purpose of this story is the glorification of Jesus. With Martha, we get to confess that Jesus, this person who weeps at the death of his friend and miraculously raises him to life, is our Saviour. We also get to know his deep compassion in our lives. In this mini-series we will read the story of Lazarus’ death and resurrection by Jesus. Our aim is that we would know that Jesus is present in the difficult moments in our lives; he offers comfort, and he offers hope in his power and resurrection and what that means for us.

1. Jesus shows up

 John 11:1-7, 17-22

Zak Robb - 19 Apr 2020

How do we understand God’s timing? How do we have faith in the uncertainty? But how do we hold onto this truth when times are hard? Jesus hears about his friend’s sickness but waits to arrive only after his death. Martha still has faith in him, even though she a) is grieving and disappointed and b) doesn't know what is to come. How can we wrestle with and learn from this? We don't understand God's timing and will, yet we can have faith - we know the end of this story.

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2. Jesus cares

 John 11:28-37

Naomi Black - 26 Apr 2020

How do we relate to God in our grief? Does God care? Is he still powerful? Jesus wept with Mary even though he knew what was going to happen, so he grieves with us too. Some of us might be asking, like the Jews in verse 37, why God acts miraculously sometimes but not others. This whole story points to Jesus’ resurrection as our ultimate hope for healing.

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3. Jesus heals

 John 11:38-45

Mae Moore - 3 May 2020

We suffer and grieve (previous week) but there is always hope of healing and new life through Jesus. The point of this story is not Lazarus but Jesus. We can see that in how many people came to faith through this miracle. Yet sometimes we let false identities get in the way. v39 'Martha, the sister of the dead man' highlights when our suffering defines us and our expectations: 'there will be an odour'. We must allow God's promises to define us. Jesus raised Lazarus, foretelling his own resurrection, our ultimate hope is not in his acts but who he is and what he did.

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