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Intro: If you have ever had a desire to see the glory, power and majesty of the power of Jesus Christ displayed in dazzling fashion, look no farther than this passage. In this text, we are allowed see what Jesus did for Lazarus when He raised him from the dead. What a thrill to know that we serve a God of such grace, glory and power! We also see here what He is able do for any one who needs to be delivered from sin and death today.
This passage shows us how Jesus can take you from the deathbed of your sins and give you a seat at His table. If you don’t know the Lord, this passage will show you what He can do for you, if you will come to Him by faith. If you do know Him, these verses will help you remember what He did for you when He saved you by His grace. I would like to take this passage and preach for a few minutes on the thought: Look Who’s Coming To Dinner.
A. V. 32, 39 He Was Dead – Ill. Not sick, dead! Ill. Oblivious to his surroundings. Oblivious to the presence of the Lord. Unable to respond to his surroundings.
B. V. 39 He Was Decayed - According to Martha, Lazarus has been dead long enough for the decay process to have set in on his body. He was just as dead as he had ever been, but his death was far more apparent.
Dead is dead! In the New Testament,
Jesus resuscitates three people.
C. V. 21, 32, 36 He Was Doomed – Ill. In the minds of all the people at that tomb, Lazarus is dead and gone and nothing more can be done about it. Had this been any other cemetery, I might have agreed with them, but there was one subtle difference that day: Jesus Christ was there! The others may have been ready to leave Lazarus in the grave, but Jesus wasn’t! He makes all the difference!
He is the only One Who can make a difference in that
person who is dead in sin and headed to Hell!
If Jesus had not passed by where Lazarus was and called him to life, he
would have rotted in that grave! And,
friend, you can try any method you wish, but if the Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t
bring life to your dead soul, then you are doomed as well! Jesus and Jesus alone makes
the difference in the life of the dead sinner,
(Note: We may give up on folks like this crowd did with Lazarus, but thank God; Jesus doesn’t operate like we do! When it looked like there was no hope, the Lord came to where Lazarus lay in darkness and He changed everything for Him! What has He done for you? What do you need Him to do?)
II. V. 43-44 LAZARUS AND THE TRANSFORMATION
A. He Received A Personal Call - When the Lord Jesus called out at that tomb, He issued a very personal call. He called specifically for Lazarus to come out of that tomb! That call was for no one else that day, but it was for Lazarus alone. It was a call designed for one man and one man alone!
Friends, the Gospel call is not a general call to all men! It is a call to individuals from a holy God,
B. He Received A Precise Call - The call was very clear that day “Come forth!” Jesus told Lazarus exactly what he was supposed to do!
When He comes calling, there will be no doubt as to
what He wants you to do! When He comes calling, His call will be for you to come to Him. His call will be for you to believe on Him by
faith. His call will be a call to repent
of your sins and to turn Jesus for salvation,
C. He Received A Powerful Call - This call was a powerful call for Lazarus. It brought him out of death and darkness into light and life! It changed everything for this man forever.
(Note: Such is the power of the Master’s call! When the call of Jesus comes to a life and when that call is heeded, it has the power and the potential to change all of life for you forever! His call has the power to penetrate the blindness and deadness of sin and awaken the lost person to his need of the Lord. His call is a painful thing, but it is necessary and, in the end, it turns out to be a blessed thing because it leads to salvation!)
How did Lazarus hear this call when he was dead? Somehow, in that tomb, God caused dead ears
and a dead brain to hear the voice of the Lord.
He spoke to a dead man and called him to life. This is just what He does for a lost
sinner! He “quickens” that dead
sinner and causes him to hear the voice of the Lord, Eph. 2:1; 5. In His grace,
Jesus calls the lost sinner to come to Him and He enables him to hear that call
and he empowers Him to come,
III. V. 44, 12:1 LAZARUS AND THE TABLE
A. He Had Life - Here is a man who has been dead for four days, but at the command of Jesus, He is alive! He is able to meet with and embrace his family and friends. He is able to have fellowship with those he loves again! He is alive!
when a sinner comes to Jesus for salvation, that sinner is brought out of death
and is made alive, Eph. 2:5. Now he can
fellowship with God. Now, he is equipped
to worship and glorify the God of Heaven,
B. He Had
This is just what those who come to Jesus for salvation experience! He loosens all the chains that bind you! He breaks the power of sin on your life and
allows you to go free, Rom. 6:14! He liberates everyone that He saves,
C. He Had Light - The Bible says that the face of Lazarus was covered with a napkin. Because of that covering, Lazarus was in darkness. When Lazarus was brought to life, Jesus commanded that all the things that were binding him be removed. This allowed the light to flood into his eyes.
(Note: when a lost person comes to Jesus for salvation, they come to Him in darkness. They are in darkness regarding their condition, their sins and as to how they should live their lives. When He comes in, He brings His light with Him. He breaks the darkness and brings the lost one into the kingdom of His light, 1 Pet. 2:9.)
D. He Had Luxury - Lazarus had spent four days sealed up in a tomb, totally oblivious to his condition. Now that he is alive, he is seen sitting at a table, fellowshipping with the Lord Jesus Christ! Everything has changed for this man!
(Note: This is how it is for all those who know the Lord! He fellowships with then here, Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20, and He promises us that we will fellowship with Him in His home on high, John 14:1-3; Rev. 19. To think that He would take people who were dead in sin, wash them in His Own blood, saved them by His grace and then spend eternity fellowshipping with them is a blessing too large to get my mind around! What luxury is ours when we know the Lord!)
(Note: People say, “How can they live without Jesus?” The answer is easy! They simply don’t know they don’t have Him. They have never been with Him and do not know what they are missing! They won’t until He comes calling, turns on the light in their souls and brings them into the light!)
Conc: Has Jesus Christ ever showed up at the tomb of your life and called you to come to Him? Did you go when He called? Or, are you still trapped in the darkness, lost and waiting? If you need salvation, and Jesus is calling you, please come to Him. If your relationship with Him needs work, then please come before Him and do what He is speaking to your heart about. He can and will move you from the deathbed to the Master’s Table!