“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live’ ” (John 11:25).
The account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead teaches us about our real problems. We think our problems range from poor finances to poor health. Then we toss in our relationship struggles or other difficult situations of life. But such problems are only symptoms of our greatest problem: sin and its awful effects.
Lazarus’ death reminds us that we, too, will one day die. What will become of us and where will we go? Jesus provides the answer and illustrates it by raising Lazarus from the dead. How so? He conquered sin and its partner, death. Paul would point to Christ’s resurrection and how it would destroy the last enemy, death (see 1 Corinthians 15:26). None of this occurs without a resurrection.
So death is a real problem, and Jesus addresses it with power and authority:
“And everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:26).
So we need to address our greatest problem, sin and its consequences. James reminds us that sin brings forth death (James 1:15). But Jesus took care of our sin problem on the cross, and with it all its dire consequences. Whoever believes in Jesus will never die. Do we believe this?
Modern problems actually date back to antiquity. They followed us on the way out of the Garden of Eden. Sin gives birth to an assortment of symptoms, such as depression, relationship struggles, and frustration with our lives. But they point to the real problem that Jesus conquered, sin. This brings up three reminders:
1. Rejoice that Jesus cures all of our real problems.
We should be asking deeper questions than we do, such as “Where will I spend eternity?” If we place our trust in Jesus, we need never fear death or hell.
2. Jesus will one day remove all symptoms to real problems.
In heaven, God will not only banish sin and death, but all related suffering. We will enjoy perfect fellowship with God and with others. We will never witness rivalries, in-fighting, or rejection of any kind. God will heal all wounds and forever banish all forms of pain (Revelation 21:4).
3. We need to point people to the great Problem-Solver.
While we can try and ease others’ pain any way we can, we also need to lead them to the Great Healer. Jesus probes deep into the hearts of men and women, showing Himself to be greater than the most imposing problems we face. He conquered the grave, so He can conquer all present woes and will one day destroy them all.
Let’s place our faith in Christ to come alongside us, to lead us, and to heal our wounds. He will not leave or forsake us all of our days (Hebrews 13:5).
Posted on Tue, November 22, 2016
by Sam Petitfils