Dead Men Walking And The True Hope

4 Aug

“Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.’  Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’  Martha said to him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.’  Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.  Do you believe this?”-John 11:21-27

I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to lose close friend.  Neither can I imagine what it would be like to wait for days for a person to arrive who could heal my sick friend, but chooses not to do so.  So much is wrapped up in this story about Jesus and how He raises Lazarus.

When Jesus arrives at the scene, He has the above conversation with the grieving woman.  It begins with a seemingly condemning statement: You could have prevented this, Jesus.  She knew of His ability to heal and do miraculous things, but for some reason, He chose not to come and heal Lazarus.  I try to picture the confusion, frustration and grief that came across through those words. Yet, Martha follows this by saying something quite hopeful: But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.

Jesus’ response is that Lazarus will rise again.  Knowing the end of the story, we know that He meant this literally.  The dead man is raised from the dead and walks out of the tomb.  Martha just claimed that whatever Jesus asks of God, God will do, but she does not even ask Him to ask this of God.  She merely states how she knows that Lazarus will rise again on the last day.  Her hope is in this event that will one day take place.

Yet Jesus explains to Martha, and reminds us, that He is our hope.  Martha’s hope is in a future event, the resurrection.  Jesus proclaims: I am the resurrection; I am your hope.  In the midst of tragedy and confusion, Jesus says that He is the hope of this woman.  In raising Lazarus, Jesus reveals that not only does God give Him whatever He asks, that that He is God.  He is the one with power and authority.  And all of it serves to glorify the Father.

I cannot help but think of the many times that I find my hope drifting towards my own good works, books or my wife.  However, at the end of the day, Jesus words remind me that He is my hope.  He is my hope because only through His death on the cross could my sins be forgiven.  He is my hope because only through His resurrection did His sacrifice prove effective and give me the hope of one day rising from the dead to eternal life.  And He is my hope because He now lives in me, enabling to live a life of joyful obedience to God for His glory.

Is He your hope, or are you hoping in something/someone else?

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