sunday at church, jacob preached over the first sixteen verses of john 11. this is the chapter about lazarus, jesus’s friend, who dies and is brought back to life for the glory of God. there’s so much to unpack here, but because this is my blog, i get to write about how it affected me directly. :)
sometimes we are drawn a picture of ‘salvation’ that looks like this: we are thrown overboard a ship. we can’t save ourselves but someone throws us a life preserver and we are saved. perhaps a more accurate picture of salvation is being thrown overboard and drowning…laying on the floor of the ocean, lifeless. then someone (jesus) comes along and raises you up…gives you new life.
i think this is the big picture going on in john 11. basically, there are going to be things in our life that we have to die to, before he can save us.
we have learned from jacob, throughout this study, that so often, jesus is teaching his disciples and working miracles to usher in understanding of things not only in the physical realm, but the spiritual realm. so while they are soon to see lazarus raised from the dead, another big picture of what is going on here, is that jesus is going to preform this miracle, this act of resurrection, because he will be performing it soon, for himself. in other words, he is going to raise himself from the dead, and this experience with lazarus, gives an account and authority that jesus is the messiah.
i journaled furiously after the sermon, and i think the obvious question is, “what do you need to die to?” but i don’t want to ask the obvious question.
my melancholy tendencies take me to death, many times, and i often stay there. i get lost in the dark and forget. so, i decided to take captive my thoughts and give a platform to Good, and ask “what has given me life?”
well the answer is Jesus. but through what? easy: community. as my mind flooded with memories of death and guilt and ungodly things, i became overwhelmed with the fact that even in the depths of my own depravity, 1. jesus loves me, 2. he sees fit for me to teach and love and encourage and friend his other children too. WHAT? crazy.
sometimes it’s really hard for me to respond to a love like that. i don’t understand it in the physical realm…people don’t act like that. there’s something in me that can’t quite connect those dots because i don’t think i deserve it. i think it applies to everyone but me. but this teaches me that it is also in the spiritual realm that i must exist and love and obey and seek understanding, because that’s where this great love is radiating from.
i found myself feeling very small as i was writing on sunday. i am like this tiny little spec of dust in the timeline of eternity, and jesus knows everything about my past present and future. i don’t want to ever loose sight of his bigness. and if i believe the ancient scriptures that teach me he is my strong tower, my deliverer, my friend in time of need, then he will, indeed, give me new life when i meet death.
jesus, help me to recognize the gift of life.