I Am the Resurrection and Life – John 11 – Part 2

I want us to see how Jesus deals with each of our needs in very specific ways.  According to our personalities and needs Jesus meets us differently.  In our passage we see Jesus enter the scene and Martha, the same Martha that we read about in Luke 10 that was too busy to sit down and listen to Jesus rushes out to meet Jesus first.  She is a go-getter she goes out to meet Jesus and has questions, she raises theological issues, she needs to vent, and she needs some answers.   There is no mention of Martha pouring out her soul in His presence. No mention of that happening with Martha but with Mary it was a different story, wasn’t it? For Mary she was more emotional, she was a crier.   Notice what Jesus does. 

He Cries with Me And For Me

32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell down at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, he was moved with indignation and was deeply troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them.
     They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept.

Mary fell at the feet of the One she knew held the future and wept! She poured out her heart to the One who could make the difference and moved Jesus to work in her circumstances.

 I want to tell you that tears are a language that Jesus understands! Tears speak more about what our hearts feel than any words could ever express. Those tiny drops of humanity that tumble from our eyes, creep down our cheeks and splash on the floor carry the message that our hearts ache and hurt. Tears are the messengers that sometimes substitute for our crippled words.  They spill out carrying with them our deepest emotions. A tearstain on a cheek speaks more than words ever could. A tear falling on a casket says what a spoken farewell never could.  What gives more support than the tears on the face of a friend as we pour out our troubles to them? What do we do when the words just won’t come out right as all the nouns and verbs and adverbs and adjectives lay deflated at our feet?

Tears are a language that Jesus understands.

The scripture says that Jesus was moved by the heartbreak of their souls and that His Spirit groaned inside him and He was troubled.

 How many of us are moved by the heartbreak of our children or some disappointment that crushes their little souls?   Won’t we also move to do all within our power to help them and ease the pain?  As parents we do all within our power to make it all right. 

Why do we think that Jesus doesn’t care about our troubles or the things that trouble us?

John 11: 35, the shortest verse in the entire bible.  Did you know that?  Many people memorize this one because its so easy to remember, but man is it powerful!  “ JESUS WEPT!”  Those two words let us know that God is concerned about the things that break our hearts! God wants so much to be a part of our everyday lives.  Did you know that? God is moved by the tears of his children

Jesus not only cries with us, he also cries for us.  His heart breaks when we don’t recognize our need for him.  His heart breaks from our unbelief.  His heart breaks when we don’t live the lives we could.  I love the compassion in Jesus in Luke 19:41-42 “ As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it  and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace”

Think of all the tears that must be shed in heaven as Jesus who died on the cross NONE might perish but all have everlasting life with him, sees each and every moment some lost soul dies and is separated from Him for all eternity.  God created us to fellowship with him and live with him. I believe that Jesus has shed many tears for you if you’re here today and you still have not received Jesus . Jesus knows that time, the last time, you’ll reject the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.  You aren’t able to see that invisible line in the Spirit but Jesus does and for some of you this could be the last time you hear. Tears are a language that Jesus understands when people reject the truth and won’t come to Him.

You might be here and think that you don’t deserve this kind of love, that you’re unworthy. No one has ever loved me before or I’ve lived such a bad life, surely God only wants to punish me. Jesus loves you just the way you are and he’ll accept you and write your name in His Book of Life if you’ll only respond to Him right now. You may have been abused, mistreated, unloved, made fun of your whole life for the way you look, where you live, the clothes you wear or the things you’ve done but Jesus still died for you that you might have life and have it more abundantly as it says in John 10:10.

You may say “I don’t have any self-esteem because of what’s happened to me,” Jesus doesn’t want you to have self-esteem: he wants you to have self-worth! You were worth so much it took the blood of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the one at whose name every knee will bow and every tongue confess, to purchase your salvation.  You’re worth so much Jesus died for you!

Some of you may even at this moment be crying on the inside wondering if all this is really true and your head hangs low in your heart as you wonder. My best has never been good enough and I’m just ashamed of what I am but listen to me, God will reach out a nail scarred hand to lift you up and put peace in your heart and joy down deep in your soul if you’ll only let him. Don’t resist Jesus today. Tears are a language that Jesus understands.  Jesus called back a man four days dead in the grave, bloated and stinking, and He does the same today for you.

One of the most exciting things to me about the ministry of Jesus was His willingness let others help him.  Anything that they could do, He allowed them to do!   I like that.
He sent Peter and John to prepare the upper room for the Last Supper.
On a later occasion, we know that while they could not go to Calvary and die for the sins of the world, He took them to Gethsemane and encouraged them to watch and pray with Him.
And while Peter could not still a storm with a single word, he was invited to walk on the water.
As a parent, you smile to see your children imitating you and trying to help you work, so it pleases Jesus to see us help Him.

Like our purpose statement says we are here “LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE and SHARE JESUS” We are commissioned to proclaim the Gospel message to a lost and dying world.

He Invites Me to Help Him Free Others

39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.  But Martha, the dead man’s sister, said, “Lord, by now the smell will be terrible because he has been dead for four days.”

43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And Lazarus came out, bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

There are some things that only God can do. On the other hand, there are those things that He wants us to do. In fact, He invites our participation in more things than we actually are willing to do. Only Christ has the authority to command the dead to come out of the grave. But once that miracle has been accomplished He turns to His disciples and those around and encourages them to join in the blessing by instructing them to “move the stone” and then to “unwrap him and let him go.”

A great miracle had occurred. There was no doubt about that, but it required a finishing touch. The man was raised but was not yet completely free. Look closely at the picture here.

Lazarus is a living man still wearing the clothes of death. It would be pretty strange for someone to come in today wearing a suit or dress dragging a coffin.  Yet there are many, even in this church, who have been made alive by the grace of Jesus Christ but they continue to wear their grave-clothes or drag around a coffin.  In fact, some are in such a state that, unless you asked them, you would think they were still dead.  It is possible to be alive in Christ but acting like you are dead. 

For example we see this with the church at Corinth.
They were saints (I Cor. 1:2) but they were still wearing their old sinful grave clothes.  We see:  arguing and division among them (1:10-13), people who were “controlled by sinful desires” and “acting like people who do not belong to the Lord” (3:1-4). They were sexually immoral and didn’t even care! (5:1-2) “They had done more harm when they met together than good and had abused of the Lord’s Supper.” (11:17-22, 30) 

The truth is that makes little difference how you feel personally about the matter; the truth remains that people see you for how you live. When Lazarus came out perhaps someone said, “He must still be dead, he is wearing his grave-clothes.” To this Jesus would reply, “Loose him and let him go.”

He was a man moving but tied up   He may have been wrapped so that he could not freely walk yet he could shuffle along like a man in a sack.   I know Christians who are able to move in one direction yet they do not seem to be able budge an inch in any other direction.  Lazarus was strong enough to come out of the grave, but he needed help to remove his own bandages. . Just as there are those who are strong enough in one area of their Christian life yet there are other areas in which they are like babies.   You may know your Bible but do not know how to live right. Or know how to worship God with your life …or maybe you don’t give as you should…or you don’t witness or pray.  So we need others to help us, to encourage us to show us the way.

There are times when we need help and there are times when we need to help others.   They may have a large rock in front of an area of their life or they may be wrapped in a problem.  

What are some of the common rocks or wrappings that keep us from being all we can be in Christ?
One is ignorance, some of you have knowledge but you need to be led. Unless you already know all there is to know about God’s Word and how to live then you need to be around other believers by attending Worship, serving somewhere and attending a Small Group.  Others WILL be an example to you, to show you, teach you and help you.  You will be an encouragement to others in your stronger areas.  We need each other!

Another is sorrow.  Some of you are held back by your sorrow for the past.  We need others to listen to us. Some of you may be held back by your fear of the future.  We need others to encourage us.

The grave clothes were left on Lazarus so that the people present might join Christ in His work.  They could say, “Jesus raised Lazarus, and I was there and helped to unloose him from his grave-clothes.”   You will want to say the same thing, I get to teach and love the children at my church, I get to help others, I get to make a difference for Christ! That is what we are to do. 
There is an incredible feeling of satisfaction that we may have done something to cheer, or to teach, or to encourage a soul.



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About dkoop

Lead Pastor of Upwards Church: Leander & Jarrell, TX
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