Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Approximate Notes for Sunday’s Message; April 2, 2017; John 11:1-7, 17, 20-27, 33-44

Scriptures for this Sunday is John 11:1-7, 17, 20-27, 33-44

You can read these Scriptures here: {NIV2010 and ESV}

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In the last two weeks we looked at the story of the Samaritan Woman and the story of the Man Born Blind. One of the ways to interpret these stories is that both stories are resurrection stories. In both stories, the Samaritan Woman and the Man Born Blind were given a new outlook on life. As a result, both of them were able to invite new possibilities into their lives and to reinvent themselves. These are resurrection stories in a sense that they are reinvention stories.

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Every time that we experience the real presence of Jesus in our lives is a day of “resurrection.” Every time that our personal relationship with the risen Lord enables us to find hope where at first glance we only see strife and chaos is a day of “resurrection.”

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Resurrection is not just a belief. Resurrection is not something that we confess. Nor do I think that resurrection is something that we can comprehended with our limited minds because Resurrection is not logical.

I believe that Resurrection can ONLY be experienced.

When we experience resurrection, we feel renewed and recharged, we feel that we have a new lease on life. We say things like, “God is not done with me yet.” Unless you yourself have experienced resurrection, the story of the Raising of Lazarus is just a cool story that we hear in church, usually during Lent, that has nothing to do with our lives. Without personally experiencing resurrection, the story of the Raising of Lazarus is hard to comprehend and to understand, and even harder to apply to our own lives.

In my early days as a follower of Jesus, I used to struggle with the Resurrection. Today I know that Resurrection is not just a confession. Today I know that Resurrection is not just a theological concept. Today I know that Resurrection is not theoretical. Resurrection is real and tangible. Resurrection is our relationship with God – yours and mine.

Resurrection is the experience of an ongoing conversation and relationship with Jesus.

Conversation with Jesus transformed the Samaritan Woman from a pariah to a witness of God’s love. Conversation with Jesus opened the eyes of the Man Born Blind and changed how he interacted with his neighbors.

Resurrection is the experience of hearing your name being called to come out from the darkness of your “tomb” and to feel Jesus’ heart beating next to yours.

In John 11:43-44 we heard:

43 … Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

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In every resurrection (notice the small “r”) there is a moment of resurrection followed by a process of resurrection. “Lazarus, come out,” is a moment of resurrection.

After Lazarus came out, the last sentence of the reading is, “Jesus said to them, Take off the grave clothes and let him go.’”

There is a huge difference between hearing the call and invitation, and responding to it. After being dead, Lazarus was alive. Being alive and living are two different things. Lazarus had to relearn how to be alive and how to live. The memory of dying and the experience of death had to leave a mark on his soul. That is why Jesus told everyone to let Lazarus go, so that Lazarus had a chance to understand what had happened and to think about what he had learned from that experience.

{Transition to the Sacrament of the Holy Communion}

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