July 13

Then Jesus said to them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there…’ John 11:14-15

These are arresting words – Jesus was glad that He had not been with Lazarus to prevent his death. This baffled Martha and Mary, and at first seems baffling to us. If Jesus teaches His disciples anything, it is how to die. We human beings tend to cling to our life, and cry for help to survive. But there are times when God wants things to get a whole lot worse before He will step in. If Lazarus had not been allowed to die, he would never have experienced the wonder of resurrection. What happened to Lazarus teaches us many lessons. On the physical level, it shows, as Jesus persistently taught the disciples, that physical death is sleep, and nothing to be afraid of. On the spiritual level, it teaches us that God has a radical solution to our human condition. He has radical surgery to offer, that can only be received by the person who is willing to let go of self, die with Christ, and experience the wonder of a complete transformation of their life. Christ led the way in death and resurrection; when we let go of sin, self, the world and the flesh, and embrace death by faith, then we truly please God. Then He is able to bring us into alignment with Himself in His Son. Nothing else can truly satisfy us, either. Let nothing make you panic. God is in control – learn His ways.