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Behold the Lamb of God

4/16 – Where Were You? (John 11:1-46)

 

Introduction — Here John tells of Jesus raising Lazarus back to life. Jesus gets word from Martha and Mary that their brother Lazarus is sick. But Jesus delays going to visit his beloved friend. While waiting, Jesus lets his disciples know that what’s about to unfold will be for the glory of God. Then, after two days, Jesus and his disciples begin their journey to Bethany. When they arrive there, Jesus finds that Lazarus was already in the tomb four days. Many people gather to console the sisters. Martha hears that Jesus is near. She goes to see him. Mary stays at their house. Martha says to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Yet even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” Jesus replies, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha states, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus says to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Martha tells him, “Yes, Lord, I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who comes into the world.”

How about us? Do we believe Jesus? Do we believe He is the resurrection and the life? Do we wrestle with God’s timing? Do we ponder where He is in our pain? Do we question His work? Do we doubt His ways? Do we behold His glory? Do we live in awe of Him? Do we trust Him?

 

By our words and our actions, we often show that we want Jesus on our terms. We may hold him at arm’s length.

We may set him in the past. We may have fuzzy notions of him. Yet, he wants us on his terms. Jesus asks us to believe him.

 

Do you believe Him?

 

Do you believe that Jesus is love?

17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off; 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. 20 Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house. 21 Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” 

 

Comments: Here Jesus shows great love to this family and to his Father. First, his love is a seeking love. He goes to a difficult place to be present with a grieving family. Second, by going to Bethany near Jerusalem, Jesus shows a sacrificial love. For Jesus’ return sets in motion the final death plot, the imminent arrest, the mock trial, and the crucifixion. Jesus willingly sacrifices his life for Lazarus, his friend. This is a greater love. This is a lay-down-your-life-for-a-friend love. This is a listen-to-the-Father love. This is an obey-the-Father love. This is a finish-the-work-of-the-Father love. This is a glorify-the-Father love. This is a God-so-loved the world-that-He-gave-His-only-Son love. This is a sacrificing love. Third, this is a sustaining love. When Martha chides (if you had been here!) him, Jesus endures her criticism. His love endures all things, even the uninformed rebuke of a friend. Jesus shows great love. Jesus is love. Jesus is perfect love. Do you believe this? Do you believe Him?

 

Do you believe that Jesus is life?

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” 

 

Comments: Here Jesus speaks plainly. He clearly tells Martha that Lazarus will rise again. Jesus tells her simply, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus speaks of a hope-filled life. Jesus speaks of a joyous life. Jesus speaks of new life. Jesus speaks of eternal life. Throughout his gospel, John directs the reader to consider that Jesus gives abundant, unshackled life. Jesus tells of a Spirit-led life. Jesus shows a service-to-others life. Jesus teaches you-shall-know-the truth-and-the-truth-shall-set-you-free life. Jesus is behold-the-glory-God life. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus is living water life. Jesus is the bread of life. Jesus says plainly, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” Jesus is the resurrection. Jesus is the life. Jesus is perfect life. Do you believe this?

 

Do you believe that Jesus is Lord?

27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”

 

Comments: In response to Jesus’ question, Martha gives a marvelous declaration of dependence on Christ. First, her first words, “Yes, Lord,” show her deepening awareness of who he is. Martha declares that Jesus is Lord. He is the sovereign Lord. He’s not surprised by the current situation. He’s not powerless to remedy what seems like an impossible situation. He’s not weak. He’s not uncaring. Jesus is sovereign. He is the sovereign Lord. He’s also the faithful Lord. He’s not capricious. He’s not moody or fickle. He is trustworthy and true. He is faithful. Jesus is the faithful Lord. Second, her declaration, “I have believed,” shows the gracious work of God in her life.  [But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.~ John 1:12-13] Third, she states that Jesus is the Messiah. He’s the promised one—the ruling king, the rightful priest, the righteous prophet—who comes into the world. He is the Son of God. He is God with us. He is present with us. Jesus is Lord.

Do you believe this? Do you believe Him? Then get up and roll away the stone. Unbind him. Care for your brother. Fall down at the feet of Jesus. Worship him. Run to him. Look to him. Behold, the Lamb of God. See the living water. Look, the resurrection and the life. Jesus is the king. Jesus is the crucified king. Jesus is the risen king. He is alive. He is the life.

Word Study for John 11:1-45

3 sent (apostello—send; send off; send someone out; send a message)

3 love (phileo—love; to like, to be fond of; to welcome as a guest)

5 loved (agapao—love; show love; take pleasure in; to prize; have compassion for)

9 stumble (proskopto—strike against; take offense; trip up)

14 plainly (parresia—frankness; candor; boldness; openly)

22 know (oida—see; understand; remember; recall; honor)

23 rise (anestemi—stand up; rise; cause to stand up; raise to life)

25 resurrection (anastasis—resurrection; rising up; standing up; resurrection from death)

25 life (zoe—existence; living; way of life)

27 believe (pisteuo—believe; trust; put faith in; entrust)

33 deeply moved (embrimaomai—feel strongly; intense feeling of concern; indignation)

33 troubled (tarasso—stir up; cause great distress; agitate; disturb)

40 see (harao—see; look; pay attention; understand; behold; experience)

40 glory (doxa—splendor; brightness; amazing might; praise; honor; greatness)

 

Application for John 11:1-45

Let’s be quick to seek God.

Let’s honor God in all things we do.

Let’s follow Jesus.

Let’s believe Jesus.

Let’s believe Jesus is the resurrection and the life.

Let’s be in awe of God.

 

Gospel Connections for John 11:1-45

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. He gives life. He sustains life. He is able to call back to life those who die. Jesus gives eternal life to everyone who believes in Him. Jesus is the Messiah. He is the Son of God. He is the word made flesh. Jesus is He who comes into the world. Jesus is light. Jesus is love. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is life.

 

Thoughts and Quotes for John 11:1-45

If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn't rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead. ~ Timothy J. Keller, The Reason for God

 

Optimism is a wish without warrant; Christian hope is a certainty, guaranteed by God himself. Optimism reflects ignorance as to whether good things will ever actually come. Christian hope expresses knowledge that every day of his life, and every moment beyond it, the believer can say with truth, on the basis of God's own commitment, that the best is yet to come. ~ J.I. Packer

 

It is not easy to convey a sense of wonder, let alone resurrection wonder, to another. It’s the very nature of wonder to catch us off guard, to circumvent expectations and assumptions. Wonder can’t be packaged, and it can’t be worked up. It requires some sense of being there and some sense of engagement. ~ Eugene H. Peterson

 

The most important events in human history were the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. ~ Billy Graham

 

Unless some people are commissioned for the task, there will be no gospel preachers; unless the gospel is preached, sinners will not hear Christ’s message and voice; unless they hear him, they will not believe the truths of his death and resurrection; unless they believe these truths, they will not call on him; and unless they call on his name, they will not be saved. ~ John R.W. Stott

 

The Bible says he was raised not just after the blood-shedding, but by it. This means that what the death of Christ accomplished was so full and so prefect that the resurrection was the reward and vindication of Christ's achievement in death. ~ John Piper, The Passion of Jesus Christ

At the heart of Christian faith is the story of Jesus' death and resurrection. ~ John Ortberg

The best news of the Christian gospel is that the supremely glorious Creator of the universe has acted in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection to remove every obstacle between us and himself so that we may find everlasting joy in seeing and savoring his infinite beauty. ~ John Piper

 

Few people seem to realize that the resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone to a worldview that provides the perspective to all of life. ~ Josh McDowell

 

The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation. ~ John MacArthur

 

In short, I didn't become a Christian because God promised I would have an even happier life than I had as an atheist. He never promised any such thing. Indeed, following him would inevitably bring divine demotions in the eyes of the world. Rather, I became a Christian because the evidence was so compelling that Jesus really is the one-and-only Son of God who proved his divinity by rising from the dead. That meant following him was the most rational and logical step I could possibly take. ~ Lee Strobel

 

Bible Verses on Resurrection

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, yet from my flesh I shall see God; whom I myself shall behold, and whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me! ~ Job 19:25-27

 

Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. ~ Psalm 16:9-10

 

He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken. ~ Isaiah 25:8

 

Your dead will live; their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, for your dew is as the dew of the dawn, and the earth will give birth to the departed spirits. ~ Isaiah 26:19

 

Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. ~ Daniel 12:2

 

But as for you, go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age. ~ Daniel 12:13

 

For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day. ~ John 6:40

 

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. ~ John 6:44

 

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. ~ John 6:54

 

After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. ~ John 14:19

 

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. ~ Romans 8:11

 

Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:11

 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:20

 

When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” ~ Revelation 1:17-18

Where were you?

 

We may ask, “Where were you, Jesus?”

 

Like Mary and Martha, we want Jesus to be there when our loved one is sick. We want him to heal that person. Like the disciples, we want Jesus to be there when we’ve got questions. We want him to answer us. Like those who mourned along with the sisters, we want Jesus to be with us when we’re unsure about ourselves.  We want him to comfort us. Like the grieving family, we want Jesus when we’re in a tough spot. We want him to be our hero.

 

We can turn even these good desires into ultimate desires. We turn them into idols. The key phrase here is we want. In other words, we want Jesus on our terms. We want Jesus in our image.

 

We want Jesus for our own sake. We want Jesus for our own purpose. We want Jesus for our glory. By our words and our actions, we often show how we want (or not) Jesus on our terms.

 

Yet, he wants us on his terms. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Do we believe this? Do we believe Him? Do we believe him for who he is and what he does? Do we believe him now? Do we believe him in the present tense?

 

Jesus is asking us, “Where are you?”

 

Still, we may somberly push back, and say, “Jesus, where were you . . .

 

·       when my spouse died?

·       when my child rebelled?

·       when my dad abused?

·       when my church divided?

·       when my friends abandoned?

·       when my boss betrayed?

 

We may honestly reach out, and ask, “Jesus, where were you . . .

 

·       when this sickness enveloped me?

·       when this grief enshrouded me?

·       when this despair engulfed me?

 

We may quietly speak up, and question, “Jesus, where were you . . .

 

·       in my desperate moment?

·       in my deepest sorrow?

·       in my darkest pain?

 

Jesus does not diminish or dismiss our pain, sorrow, or questions. He does, however, urge us to look to him. He wants us to see him, to behold his glory. He wants us to believe him. He wants us to trust him.

 

Therefore, Jesus patiently asks us, “Where are you?” Jesus lovingly tells us, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

 

Do we believe this? Do we see the hope, wonder, victory, joy, peace, truth, assurance, beauty, and grace of belief in Jesus? Do we see Jesus? Do we hear Jesus? Do we know Jesus? Do we love Jesus? Do we obey Jesus? Do we follow Jesus? Do we trust Jesus? Do we believe Jesus now? Do we believe him in the present tense?

 

Where are we?

 

Where are you?

 

Application

Care for those around you.

Do the simple things with speedy joy.

Pick up the phone and let someone know you’re praying for him or her.

Pray for folks urgently and frequently.

Spend time with people who are hurting.

Listen to them; weep with them.

Spend time with people who are celebrating.

Be happy for them; rejoice with them.

 

Fall down at the feet of Jesus.

Sing out your praise to God.

Stand in silent awe before Him.

Kneel in humble prayer.

Pour out your honest thoughts to Him.

 

Look to Jesus.

Read through the gospel of John this week. (That’s only three (3) chapters a day!)

Note the words of Jesus.

Listen to the words of Jesus.

See the miracles of Jesus.

Marvel at the glory of God in Jesus.

See the love of God in Jesus.

 

Believe Jesus.

Keep turning to Jesus.

Keep turning away from your sin. (Repent)

Listen to Jesus. (Spend time daily reading, thinking, singing, praying, memorizing God’s word, the Bible.)

Talk with Jesus. (Take an hour this week to have a conversation with Him.)

Learn from Jesus. (Pay attention to His interactions with people.)

Follow Jesus.

Obey Jesus. (What is one command you know you need to heed?)

Love Jesus.

Stay close to Jesus.

Ask God to grow your faith in Jesus.

Thank God for His grace to believe Jesus.

 

Finally

Some of us cultivate crankiness instead of thankfulness. Everything and everyone is just one big pain. You plant rows of complaints instead of seeds of gratitude. But if you are in Christ, things should be different. You should be different.

So, this week, instead of grumbling, give thanks to God. Instead of whispering gossip, whisper thanks to God (He made your mouth, after all!). And instead of living in the fear of what might be, live in the victory of who God is. Give thanks to the LORD with all your heart.