Net Questions:

1.There were so many different elements to the worship service on Sunday. What was most meaningful to you and why?

2. Why is it significant that Jesus gave His life willingly?
John 10:17  The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life--only to take it up again.
John 10:18  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

3. Lazarus was resurrected only to face death all over again. This could have been one of the reasons Jesus wept. What are some other possible reasons Jesus cried that day?

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
John 11:32 (NIV)
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
John 11:33 (NIV)
“Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
John 11:34 (NIV)
Jesus wept.
John 11:35 (NIV)

4. When Jesus died on the Cross, He defeated sin! When Jesus rose from the grave, He defeated death! There was Divine power involved in both of these events and God wants to use that same power in your life. Can you think of some areas of your life where you need the power of the Cross and the power of the resurrection to be applied?

1 Cor 15:55  "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
1 Cor 15:56  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
1 Cor 15:57  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Cor 15:58  Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Sermon Notes:

Two Resurrections/Some Similarities
John 11/John 20
Selected Verses

This morning is a very important morning for the Christian community. It is the day we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus from the Grave. It is the day we celebrate our Lord's defeat of death and the grave. It is the day we celebrate our Lord's ultimate defeat of the forces of evil through His death on the Cross.

But today is an important day not only for our church and the Christian community, it is a very important day for some individuals here today and in other places around the world. It is a day to be confronted with the claims of Christ. A day of decision for many whether to believe in the message of the Cross and the message of the Resurrection.

It will be a day of transformation for some, but for others, just another day, like any other.
My prayer for each of us here today is that today will be a day of transformation. A day of hope! A day of new beginnings! A day of anticipation of how God will bring the power of the Cross and the Resurrection to work in your life.

Let's Pray!!!

This morning we will compare the resurrection of Lazarus with that of our Lord!
We will see similarities, but major differences.

However, before we begin looking at the two resurrections, I think it is very important to look at the major difference in their deaths.

Lazarus died of sickness. Listen...

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
John 11:1 (NIV)

This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.
John 11:2 (NIV)

So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
John 11:3 (NIV)

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
John 11:4 (NIV)

Lazarus died of natural causes. Jesus said that God would get glory from it, but it was so different from Jesus' death.

Lazarus died because he got sick. God was going to use the situation for His glory, but Lazarus died because of sickness. There was nothing Lazarus or his sisters or doctors or anyone could do about it. Except Jesus. And Jesus was far away.

On the other hand, Jesus died of unnatural causes. Jesus died at the hands of sinful men. Jesus was scourged, beaten, and nailed to a Cross. His death would also lead to God's Glory, but it was different from Lazarus in a significant way.

 No one could do anything about Lazarus' death except Jesus. With Jesus' death, Jesus could have prevented it, but chose not to.

Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
John 11:6 (NIV)

Then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
John 11:7 (NIV)

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?”
John 11:8 (NIV)

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light.
John 11:9 (NIV)

It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.”
John 11:10 (NIV)

After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
John 11:11 (NIV)

 Jesus and His disciples knew what would happen if He went back to Judea. But Jesus says "I am going there to wake him up." In other words, "I'm going back whether you come along or not." He compares His ministry to the 12 hours in a Jewish day and knows He still has ministry to accomplish before His death.

The disciples think Lazarus is only asleep due to an illness and that he would get better on his own. Why chance going back? Listen...

His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.”
John 11:12 (NIV)

Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
John 11:13 (NIV)

So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,
John 11:14 (NIV)

and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
John 11:15 (NIV)

Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
John 11:16 (NIV)

What is the point of all this information. It was highlighting the very important fact that Jesus was very much aware of what was going to happen to Him. God the Father was very much aware of what was coming.

Lazarus had no control over his death and died because of an illness.
Jesus, on the other hand, had full control over His life and death, but chose to go back into harms way. Not only to raise Lazarus, but knowing that raising Lazarus would ultimately lead to His arrest and crucifixion, He chose to go there for you and me.
Listen to this conversation between Jesus and Pilate after His arrest...

John 19:10  "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said. "Don't you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?"

John 19:11  Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

Jesus willingly gave His life for a reason, for an eternal purpose!

That purpose was you!

Now let's look at the similarities and differences between the resurrection of Jesus and Lazarus.

1. The Stone

Jesus had men roll away the stone of Lazarus' grave. Jesus could have used His supernatural power to remove the stone, but the resurrection of Lazarus was not about showing off His power to do miracles, but about His power over death and the grave.

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
John 11:38 (NIV)

“Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
John 11:39 (NIV)

Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
John 11:40 (NIV)

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
John 11:41 (NIV)

So Jesus has men move the stone so Lazarus could come out of the grave. Martha is concerned about the odor. She still doesn't understand Jesus' power over death and the grave. Jesus reminds her of the importance of belief…the importance of ultimately putting our faith and trust in God regardless of what we face in this world.

Now let's fast forward to Jesus' resurrection...

John 20:1  Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

We get a little more information about the stone on Jesus' tomb from Matthew's Gospel.

The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.
Matthew 27:62 (NIV)
“Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’
Matthew 27:63 (NIV)
So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
Matthew 27:64 (NIV)
“Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”
Matthew 27:65 (NIV)
So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
Matthew 27:66 (NIV)
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
Matthew 28:1 (NIV)

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
Matthew 28:2 (NIV)
His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.
Matthew 28:3 (NIV)
The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
Matthew 28:4 (NIV)
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.
Matthew 28:5 (NIV)
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Matthew 28:6 (NIV)

How amazing. Jesus didn't need men to roll away the stone. He had supernatural help. And I love the fact the Angel sat on the stone. Like, it was no big deal to move such a little rock. A mere pebble.
And those guards…"You guys really think you can keep The Son of God in the tomb with a big stone and human guards?"

2. The Grave Clothes

Let's go back to the story of Lazarus.

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
John 11:41 (NIV)
I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
John 11:42 (NIV)
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
John 11:43 (NIV)
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.”
John 11:44 (NIV)

Can you imagine the baby steps Lazarus had to take as he exited the tomb?
He was still bound by them.
I think this was to let folks know what was happening was not Lazarus raising himself. People needed to see Lazarus' human limitations. People were easily swayed and they might have tried to worship Lazarus as some kind of deity.

It was very different with Jesus...

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
John 20:1 (NIV)

So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
John 20:2 (NIV)
So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.
John 20:3 (NIV)
Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
John 20:4 (NIV)
He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.
John 20:5 (NIV)
Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there,
John 20:6 (NIV)
as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.
John 20:7 (NIV)

For Jesus, the stone was not a problem, and He was not bound by strips of linen or grave cloths. He didn't need anyone to remove them and I love the fact that He took time to neatly fold up the grave cloth.

 3. The Results

 For Lazarus, his resurrection gave him additional life here on earth and his family was certainly thankful. However, Jesus knew Lazarus would have to face death all over again. This made Jesus sad. I think this, among other things, explain the shortest verse in the Bible.
Let's look at that verse and its context...

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
John 11:32 (NIV)
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
John 11:33 (NIV)
“Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
John 11:34 (NIV)
Jesus wept.
John 11:35 (NIV)
Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
John 11:36 (NIV)
But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
John 11:37 (NIV)

I think Jesus wept because He weeps with those who weep. I think His heart was breaking not only for Martha and Mary, but for all humanity, because going through the grief process is painful! This saddened Jesus. But also, I think He wept, because He knew there were those who simply were cold hearted and would refuse to believe even though He would raise Lazarus.

In fact, did you notice how people responded to Jesus' tears? Some were compassionate, but others responded with cynicism.

Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
John 11:36 (NIV)
But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
John 11:37 (NIV)

One of the hardest things for me as a pastor is knowing that no matter how hard I try, some people are just not going to believe. They will ultimately reject the truth of the resurrection and refuse all that Jesus died to give them. That makes me so sad.

And you know what? I was thinking of how I could preach a message today that would convince and prove to any skeptics the reality of Jesus' resurrection, and there's so much I could show you. But Jesus Himself raised Lazarus from the dead and there were people who still did not believe.

In fact, Jesus went from a gentle weeping to a loud cry. Listen...

Even after Jesus had done all these miraculous signs in their presence, they still would not believe in him.
John 12:37 (NIV)
This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
John 12:38 (NIV)
For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere:
John 12:39 (NIV)
“He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.”
John 12:40 (NIV)
Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him.
John 12:41 (NIV)
Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue;
John 12:42 (NIV)
for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
John 12:43 (NIV)

Then Jesus cried out, “When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.
John 12:44 (NIV)
When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.
John 12:45 (NIV)
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
John 12:46 (NIV)

And this leads us to the results of Jesus' resurrection.
His resurrection was not temporary!!

It was eternal!
And His resurrection was not only for Himself, it was for all who would believe.

We go from "Jesus wept" to Jesus asking the question, "Why are you crying?"

but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb
John 20:11 (NIV)
and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
John 20:12 (NIV)
They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
John 20:13 (NIV)
At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
John 20:14 (NIV)
“Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
John 20:15 (NIV)
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
John 20:16 (NIV)
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”
John 20:17 (NIV)

 Lazarus goes home to face death again, Jesus returns triumphantly to His Father to never face death again. And because of His defeat of death and the grave, He has become the hope of resurrection for all who will believe.
And this brings us full circle to what Jesus told Martha just before He raised Lazarus...

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
John 11:25 (NIV)
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
John 11:26 (NIV)
“Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”
John 11:27 (NIV)

 Let's pray!!

 This morning as we come to remember our Lord's sacrifice on the Cross and His ultimate victory over death and the grave for us, we have a wonderful way for you to say thank you to Him as you receive the bread and juice. There are blank cards, blue or yellow, in your chairs. If you like, you can take one and simply write a sentence of thanks to The Lord for what He did for you or for what He is doing in your life today.

 Our praise team will be leading us in worship as you make your way to the tables. There will be a basket for you to place your note in. Take a piece of bread, and a cup of Juice. Take a moment to remember the cost Jesus paid for your sins and then eat the bread and drink the juice.
And please know, if you do not wish to participate, you are under no obligation to do so. Also, I'll be here to receive anyone who would like to pray.