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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Abundant Life

John 11: 14-16 

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas  (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

In the story, “A Christmas Carol”, Charles Dickens writes, “There is no doubt that Marley was dead.  This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate.”

In this scripture, Lazarus was dead.  For us to understand the rest of the story, we have to understand that Lazarus was dead.  Jesus first tried to explain Lazarus’ death to the Disciples in a soft way, saying “Lazarus is sleeping and I am going to awaken him.”  This confused the Disciples and they wondered why they were going back to Judea, where people had recently tried to stone Jesus, just to wake Lazarus up.

So, Jesus bluntly said, “Lazarus is dead”.  He then explained that this was a good thing because it would result in an event that strengthened and increased their faith.

The Disciples must understand that Lazarus is dead so that the wonderful fact of his resurrection can be understood.  And when they understood that, then they would understand who Jesus is.

However, Thomas, instead of focusing on Lazarus, focused on the possibility of the death of Christ and the Disciples.

As Christians, our focus is too often on the disaster and not the miracle; too often on death and not life.  But Jesus told us , “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they [His sheep] may have life, and to have it in abundance.”  (John 10:10)

It is through His death and resurrection that we have abundant and eternal life.

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)

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