Time Alone With God Daily Devotional

Time Alone With God Daily Devotional

Written by Pastor Phil Stout of JAXNAZ Church

Monday, November 28

Read: John 11:17-26

John 11:17-26
New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[a] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Start:

Consider: This is a remarkable account of resurrection. But it is not the story of one resurrection. We find three of them in this story.

If you are not familiar with this event, read John 11:1-44 and you’ll find that Jesus brought his friend, Lazarus, back from the dead. But today we’re listening to the conversation between Jesus and Martha prior to the raising of Lazarus, which opens our understanding about something much larger than what happened that day.

In the midst of Martha’s grief and deep disappointment that Jesus arrived so late—too late to heal—Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again” (11:23). Martha’s response shows us the hope that had been passed down to her by the prophets and leaders of Israel.

“I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (11:24)

Isaiah had foretold the day when swords will be beaten into plowshares (2:4), when “the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard…no more” (65:19), when this earth will be made into “a new earth” (65:17) and when “they will neither harm nor destroy…for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (11:9).

Martha believed that. Martha believed that God would heal all wounds and restore all of creation. And we still believe in “the resurrection at the last day.”

In order for us to understand the Season of Advent, we must see Jesus’ First Advent in the context of his Second Advent. We believe that the One who came to us in Bethlehem will come again. We believe that God’s will for this earth is not to destroy it, but to resurrect it. And we believe the new earth—the new kingdom—began when God put on our humanity and came to be one of us.

Jesus raised Lazarus and promised a final resurrection yet to come. Tomorrow we’ll look at the third resurrection that we find in Jesus’ encounter with Martha.

Pray: “Lord, ‘the resurrection at the last day’ is almost too wonderful for me to believe. During this Advent Season help me to somehow embrace the hope you brought at your First Advent. And then empower me, by your Spirit, to participate in the preparation for your return when all things will be made new (Revelation 21:5).”

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