Pull a Lazarus

I’m sure you know the story of Lazarus. It’s found in John 11. That chapter is full of wonderful truths. Upon hearing of his dear friend’s death, “Jesus wept” (11:35.). Jesus said, “Lazarus, come forth!” (11:43). He called him by name, lest the entire cemetery empty out. But I take you back to the most powerful verse of the chapter. Before Lazarus had died, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death” (11:3). Don’t misunderstand his words. Jesus did not say Lazarus would not die. He said it would not end there. If Jesus had been a part of the modern prosperity gospel, he would have healed Lazarus so he would never have died in the first place. But Jesus let his friend die, even though it was painful for him to do so (11:35).

“This sickness will not end in death.” Jesus was revealing the three stages of life. There is life before death, death, and then life after death. By “death,” Jesus means brokenness, some sort of ending. It is far more than physical death. And that’s good news, because we all have a sickness. You know you are sick in some way. But rejoice over that sickness today, because it will not end in death. It may bring death, but it will not end there. God gets to write the final chapter.

There are a lot of people in the Bible who had a great story to tell. But it would be hard to beat Lazarus’ story. But his story really began with his death. It is when we die to our sickness, habit, or addiction that God can truly go to work. So lay your sickness before the Lord. Yes, your sickness has caused you pain. Yes, your sickness has injured those around you. And in many ways, your sickness has brought death – to your relationships, spiritual walk, and dreams. But It will not end there! The resurrection cannot occur until after death. So yes, you have probably messed things up. You are sick. We all are. But look up and rejoice, because you have the promise of God today.  Your sickness will bring about death, but death will bring forth life. You are sick, but it won’t end there. “This sickness will not end in death!”

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