The Plot to Kill Lazarus
9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
Dead four days, and no Christ to speak Life to him.
When Jesus did arrive, Martha, lacking the centurion’s faith, not-so-gently rebukes Him.
Jesus cautions her on doubting His ability, and restores her to a path of faith in Him, and shortly after, her brother is resurrected, unbound, and restored to her and Mary.
The Pharisees, chained in the grave of laws of their own making, infamous for their hard hearts and earthly concerns, don’t rejoice, but plot to murder a man and friend of Jesus, simply because people believed on Him after that miracle, and slipped from their control and influence.
Lazarus was a daily reminder and testimony to the authority, power, and life changing ministry of Jesus: a life restored by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Promised One.
Are we also daily reminders and living testimonies to the hard-hearted?
Are we willing to be?
Once dead in our sins, now restored to Life with the seal of the Spirit on our souls, which we must now guard against the desires of the flesh for earthly things.
We are the called, and no one takes us from his hand, but we can wriggle free if we want. We can stray from the path at any moment. We grieve the G-dhead daily, if not hourly, and our hearts are reminded in the watches of the night that the darkness is harder to walk in than the light.
Sin by daylight, repent by starlight? No, brothers and sisters, cling to Him always, in all things, and when temptations come, and weariness assails, and doubt soils our songs of praise, and our offerings are unacceptable to Him, consider this:
There was only one way out of the grave, and Christ has revealed it to us. His ‘great shout’, I believe, is the “Come forth!” on the last day, when those who’ve built their house on the Rock of Heaven, and follow the Lamb of G-d, will reign with the Prince of Peace in an eternal Kingdom with no sin, and our sun shall be the light of the Father, with a new Heaven and a new Earth, restored to purity, with Hell and evil and faithlessness, and all manner of sin destroyed.
Even through his grave clothes Lazarus saw, and stumbled toward the Light….
Let those of us who say we see and know walk in it, as we work out our salvation, and bear good fruit.
Therefore I pray:
I struggle with my building on Your commands. Doubt creeps into my prayers, and Your delay in answering my prayers kindle in me a quiet resentment. “If you were here, my __________ would not have died.”
Help me to know that “Even now, He will grant You whatever You ask.”
Help me to be a daily reminder and living testimony to the glory and power of Your atoning work, that hearts may soften, minds will change, and people will see You in me, as I strive in my earthly heart to see You in them.
I would not struggle and fight to love my fellow man, Lord Jesus. I would not lay charges against those who curse and wrong me. I would pray for those who wish me harm and use me. I would have my rewards stored in heavenly places.
I would claim my crown to throw at Your feet, and live in the center of the Father’s will, doing the work I’ve been called to do.
Only abiding in You is it possible, for with G-d, all things are.
Keep me from wriggling out of Your hand, pierced for the redemption of my soul, restoring me to You as my Brother, and walking with You as my friend, and serving You as my Messiah and King, for the Father has given all into Your hand.
I ask it in Your Name, believing I’ve received.