Monday, March 26, 2012

Lazarus Come Out!

Crossroads 84 hours of prayer begins during worship on Wednesday.  Fittingly, at our 6:30 p.m. worship, we're looking at the verse where Jesus says "I am the resurrection and the life."

It's fitting because, of all the "I AM" statements of Jesus, this is the one that drives us the most toward prayer.  Why?  Prayer is the way we handle what we cannot handle, how we do what we cannot do.  Prayer is at its best when we know we can't.  Prayer reaches out to the invisible hand of God to rescue us when there is no other out.

So was the situation in John 11, and so are we when we are honest.  There is no way out other than through a relationship with Jesus, who IS, in himself, The resurrection and The life.  No other way except through Him.

The whole of John chapter 11 is laid out to teach us this truth.  Jesus deliberately waits 4 days from the time he finds out that Lazarus is deathly ill.  He doesn't begin his journey to Bethany until Lazarus is dead.  He does this to show us we can turn to Him no matter what.  We can trust him with death itself.  There is no situation too desperate for our Lord.

We followers of the Lord can help with many things.  We can help people hear the Lord's voice and even help guide people for a while (as a shepherd).  We can help feed people (bread of life).  We can help people connect with the Lord (vine and branches).  We can, at times, shine the light of truth on their path of life (light of the world).  We can relate to these in some ways.  Our Lord allows us to participate directly in them.  As He is, so we are... in many ways.

But, when it comes to Jesus statement in John 11, "I Am the Resurrection and the Life," we can't.  Life and resurrection is out of our hands.  That is something that can only be handled by the Lord.  That's something we must surrender to the Lord in prayer.  There's nothing else we can do.

Today a spiritual acquaintance gave me these good words early today -- let's carry them into our time of prayer:
"Such a glorious morning, full of hope as things are revealed that need to be revealed by You, LORD, not by me who wants so much to 'help.' Thank You for teaching me that there are times I will question Your guidance..."
Then she compared how she feels to how Abraham must have felt as he surrendered his son Isaac on the altar.  Then she asks...
"Is it You, God?  Could it really be You? ... You are telling me to keep my hands off, to resist all temptation to do anything beyond Prayer in this matter. It is really difficult, LORD, and hard to believe. But I know Your voice, and I thank You, LORD, that know to follow You and You alone. I will follow You and not the inclinations of my human heart, with hope that is expectant and full of faith in Your Almighty, Merciful Lavish Love and Grace. In Jesus and by Your Holy Spirit I do pray."
And so, knowing that Life and Resurrection in our Lord's hands alone, we will enter into this time of prayer.  We enter with the expectation that the Lord will answer us and do what we consider impossible.  Even raising the dead and giving life where there is no hope at all.

If you have not yet signed up for an hour of prayer time, please do so, or email our church office to let us know when you plan to take an hour for prayer--anytime between Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Sunday, 7:00 a.m.  For more on this, see the Crossroads Prayer webpage

1 comment:

  1. "I am the resurrection and the life." Are among those awesome Scripture verses which were very influential to me, making an enormous impact in my own early walk in the Faith & with Christ Jesus, as a teenager. Two close relatives {a grandmother & an Uncle, same family} had passed away within a week of one another & these verses upheld us tremendously as we grieved. Soli Deo Gloria! Thanks for sharing Pastor Steve....