May 20 The Bigger Picture

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1 Samuel 26:1-28:25;  John 11:1-53;  Psalm 117:1-2;  Proverbs 15:22-23

Why didn’t Jesus go when summoned by sisters, Mary and Martha, to come make well their beloved brother Lazarus?

Jesus knew they believed he could restore their brother’s health.

Why didn’t he go?

Jesus was looking at the bigger picture–that physical death and decay is not the end for those who believe that he “is the Christ, the Son of God who was to come into the world.”

Jesus wanted even more people to believe that he was sent by his Father in Heaven.

Raising Lazarus from the dead provided Jesus a greater opportunity to show God’s glory through him.

It did.

Many Jews who were there to witness Lazarus coming out of the grave–alive–put their faith in Jesus.

It also propelled Jesus closer to the cross.

“But some of them (Jews) went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.  Then the Chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. ‘What are we accomplishing?’ they asked. ‘Here is this man performing many miraculous signs.  If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.’

Then one of them, Caiaphas who was high priest that year, spoke up, ‘You know nothing at all!  You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perishes.’

He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation and not only for that nation, but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.”  John 11:46-52

Lord God, thank you for showing through the story of Lazarus that death is not the end for those who believe;  for showing us that Jesus had the Bigger Picture in mind all along.  Not only did He want to give Lazarus new life, he wanted to give resurrected life to all people–to all who call upon His name in faith.  Thank you that Jesus did not spare His own life, but gave it freely and completely–just as was prophesied, ‘that one man die for the people.’  Thank you for saving us “scattered children of God” and making us one in You.  May we live this day joyfully for you.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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“Praise the Lord all you nations, extol him all you peoples.

For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.  Praise the Lord!”  Psalm 117:1-2

“I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;  and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”  John 11:25-26

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