CHANGING DEATH

“But when Jesus heard about it He said, ‘Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.’” John 11:4

No one can change death. Death, to us, seems the “president” of all things in our life that lie outside of our control. It represents our limitations; it reminds us of our weaknesses.  Death is that final word that, although we try to change ourselves, change the world and change our future, ultimately all things are outside of our control. Jesus is the “president of life.” He is the author, the creator, the star-breather. Nothing is outside His reach and His power. So when He says that Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death, the family and friends of Lazarus actually believed Him. Jesus had a track record of life-changing miracles, and He amazed so many people because, before Him, no one had spoken so authoritatively as He did, or made claims to the extent that He did. Time after time He came through on what He said.

But this time Jesus didn’t come through for them. This time, Lazarus died. However, Jesus didn’t lie. He said that Lazarus’s sickness would not end in death. He never said he wouldn’t die; He just meant Lazarus would not stay in that state of death. Jesus, the unchanging God, changed the unchangeable. He changed the power of death. Jesus spoke to dead Lazarus and raised him to life, staying true to His promise: “this will not end in death.”

We can see how Lazarus represents us. We can see that when our faith is in Christ, things we think that are unchangeable can now become changeable in Him—even death. We would be dead in our sins if it were not for the love of Christ. We are like Lazarus until we experience creative word of Christ in our lives, His gospel. If death no longer holds a fear for us, then this changes how we see everything that exists before our own death. The defeat of the fear of death means all other, lesser fears have also been defeated. Think on it: if yesterday someone told you that you will never die but would in fact live on for eternity with a glorious, all-perfect Creator and Father, how would you live today? What would be different for you? What would change? Yesterday is take care of, making today fear-free, so that forever we can live free in His presence. Jesus changed the power of death over our lives. He replaced its power with the power of His own resurrection life.

O you things that we can’t control, where is your sting?