Today's Readings: Ezekiel 37:12-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:8-11; John 11:1-45 (READ THE READINGS!)
OT Reading: Ezekiel 37:12-14 - God promises that the graves will be opened, the people will rise from them, and they will be brought back to the land of Israel. God will place His spirit within each person, and they will live!
Psalm 130:With the Lord there is mercy and fullness of redemption.
Romans 8:8-11: "...you are not in the flesh. You are in the spirit..." "If Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is alive..."
Gospel - John 11:1-45 Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead! The raising of Lazarus is the longest continuous narrative in John's gospel, except for the Passion account, which we will read next Sunday. This story of Lazarus being raised from the dead is the climax of Jesus' signs that appear in John's gospel. It leads directly to the decision of the Sanhedrin to kill Jesus. Lazarus is a foreshadowing of the real life that Jesus gives to all people who believe in him. The irony in this story is that the gift of life that Jesus gives to Lazarus leads to his own death! Of course, Jesus knew this would happen. It's obvious that Jesus knows his 'hour' is approaching, and he purposefully performs this miracle as he prepares himself for the fulfillment of his purpose here on earth.
Jesus came to earth with a purpose and a plan. There were 322 prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures, which we call the Old Testament, that told about his coming and his purpose. But many missed him! How about us? Do we understand that Jesus' purpose, and the Father's plan, was that Jesus would come specifically to save us from our sin and give us the gift of eternal life? And if we understand, are we living like we know it? Do we live in fear? Or are we prepared to embrace and enter into our eternal life when God knows our time has come?
Lazarus was brought back to life....but eventually he died. We have been given life, but eventually we will die too. We call it 'death', and we consider it a tragedy. But it is exactly what we were born for. We were born here on this earth to prepare for our eternal life with our loving, merciful God.
Are we spending our life preparing for our ultimate destiny....eternal life with God?
May we have the faith we need to embrace God's plan for our life, and for our eternal life.
In Christ's Peace.....