Sunday 02 April 2017

Bible Book:

“Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.” (vv. 5-6)

John 11:1-45 Sunday 2 April 2017

Psalm: Psalm 130


If you received a message that a much-loved friend was seriouslyill how would you respond? I wonder how many of us would respond asJesus did? Jesus stayed where he was for two more days. And heprayed.

This deeply moving and powerful story is not only about Lazarus,it is also about Jesus. It begins with the disciples pleading withJesus not to return to Judea and ends with the chief priests andPharisees plotting to kill him (verses 47-48).

The message from Martha and Mary was also a message from God,signalling to Jesus that now is the time to return to Judea, wherethe next act in the drama of salvation will unfold. Jesus needstime to be with God before he makes his final journey towardsJerusalem. We do not know the content of Jesus' prayers but canguess they might be something like his prayers in the Garden ofGethsemane (Mark 14:32-42), the night before theCrucifixion.

The raising of Lazarus gave the authorities the reason theyneeded to get rid of Jesus. It was also Jesus' most powerful signyet in John's Gospel, which makes clear who Jesus is and what hehad come to earth to do. It also points us to Easter Day when thefinal act of the drama unfolds.

To Ponder

  • This is a wonderful story to read and reflect on PassionSunday. As you read it, try to place yourself in the story andwatch the events unfold from the perspective of a particularcharacter. (You could choose one of the main characters or take upa position in the crowd watching.) What do you notice from whereyou stand in the story?
  • As you read, listen to the echoes between the story of Lazarusand Jesus' own story and ponder them.
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