John 12: 9
The large crowd of the Jews then learned that He was there;
and they came, not for Jesus' sake only,
but that they might also see Lazarus,
whom He raised from the dead.
I didn't realize until today that I could substitute my name for Lazarus' name in this verse. People that wonder what this "whole Jesus thing" is all about look to His believers for the answer.
Like Lazarus, I was dead-- not physically, but dead in my sins and separated from God.
Like Lazarus, my life...um... smelled bad.
Me thinkest that I was stinketh.
I dripped with sarcasm. I was vulgar. In a word-- ugly.
Like Lazarus, I looked hopeless for a good future.
I was broken and groped around in darkness never even knowing it was dark.
But then came my Jesus.
He came to my spiritual tomb and called me to Him.
It's taken me a long time to be free from the tangle of burial cloth that bound me up.
Thankfully He gives us other believers to help with the "unwinding" process.
All the while, there are people watching.
Sometimes they listen. But it's been my experience that unbelievers watch more than they listen.
The people in our verse today wanted to see Lazarus. Was he really alive? Were his burial garments really gone? Was he living like a man given a second chance with a resurrected life?
Those are the questions I asked myself today.
Do I live as a woman who was once dead and bound up but is now resurrected and free?
I don't have a neat and tidy ending for this post.
Sometimes I have great days and can lay my head on my pillow at night content that I was about my Father's business that day.
But there are too many other days, where I wonder as I drift off to sleep, if I take for granted my resurrected life.
On those days, I can only cry out, like the psalmist David--
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
There is no better witness to the lost than for believers to live fully in the joy of His salvation full of grace and truth.
Help me to not quench Your Spirit. By Your power and great mercy, may I live each day as a testimony to Your goodness. Lord, teach me to love that the world would know You are in me and I am in you. Amen.