In John 12:9-11, many believed in Jesus after Lazarus’ resurrection. As a result the Jews plot to kill them both. We see that while Lazarus’ resurrection caused some to believe, others were prompted to oppose and even to kill. In these three short verses, we are reminded of several principles applicable to the new life Jesus offers us all today.
Just as Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He also offers new life and resurrection power to ALL who believe. Trusting in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection means we not only have life after death, but also new life and new power for today. Romans 6-8 teaches us that as believers, we no longer have to obey our flesh (the pull of our sinful desires like lust, fear, pride, defensiveness, etc.), because the Holy Spirit empowers us to obey Christ. If you were to die today, how sure are you that you would be resurrected to eternal life? If you are sure, are you living your new life in the Spirit’s power or in fear, pride, and self-reliance?
Just as the crowd noticed Lazarus, our new life in Christ should be noticed by others. When we surrender to God, our lives show evidence of God’s power in our day to day countenance and behavior. Galatians 5:22 reminds us that the result of new life in Christ is the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. During this COVID-19 pandemic, are others noticing the peace, hope, and selflessness that are a result of your new life in Christ?
Just as Lazarus’ resurrection resulted in a plot to kill, our new life in Christ will also bring opposition. In John 16:33 Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Therefore, as believers with new life in Christ, we should also expect opposition and trouble. We have a very real enemy who has come to “steal, kill and destroy” (John 10:10) and wants nothing more than to discourage us and thwart the purposes of the Lord. However, we can rest assured that our enemy will not ultimately succeed. We can say with confidence, “The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1). In the midst of the trouble surrounding you, what passages of Scripture remind you that God is good, present, and can be trusted?
Just as Lazarus’ resurrection caused many to believe, those with new life in Christ should also encourage others to believe. Believers are God’s “Plan A” for growing His Church. He gives us the privilege of telling others about His great rescue plan and helping them take their next step of faithfulness toward new life in Christ. Jesus invites us into this mission in Matthew 28:19-20 when He says, “Go… and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” We are called to be people who help others believe by sharing what we are learning about God and what He is doing in our lives! Even in the midst of social distancing, how are you reaching out to others? Are you prepared to share the story of God’s grace in your life? Be ready to joyfully participate in God’s mission and help others walk in the new life that Jesus offers!
If you missed a day in the Holy Week series, read the previous entries here.