Sermon – Death vs Jesus (John 11:17 – 11:44) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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The Book of John was authored by one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, John, who features in the gospel. John makes his mission for writing the book plain in 20:31; “that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” He details the many words and claims of Jesus, as well as the various responses from those listening; in either faith, amazement, caution or rejection. Listen as Cornerstone preachers unpack the narrative and invite us to reflect on our own response to Jesus.

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Sermon 37 of 58

Death vs Jesus

Pete Woodcock, John 11:17 - 11:44, 11 September 2022

As we continue our series in John’s gospel, Pete preaches to us from John 11:17-44. In this passage we see Jesus coming to Lazarus’ tomb, his conversation with Martha and Mary, and he ultimately confronts death. Who will win?

John 11:17 - 11:44

17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

And can you grab your bibles and turn with me? To the book of John, and we're gonna be looking at John chapter 11 starting at verse 17. On his arrival, Jesus found that lazarus had already been in the tomb for 4 days. Now, Bethany was less than 2 miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him. But Mary stays at home. Lord, Martha, said to Jesus. If you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now, god will give you whatever you ask.

Jesus said to her, Your brother will rise again. Martha answered. I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. The 1 who believes in me will live even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

Do you believe this? Yes, Lord, She replied. I believe that you are the Messiah, the son of god, who is who is to come into the world. After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. The teacher is here, she said, and is asking for you.

When Mary heard this, She got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house comforting her noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her. Supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 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. When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Where have you laid him? He asked? Commency Lord, they replied, Jesus wept.

Then the Jews said See how he loved him. But some of them said, could not he, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man from dying? Jesus once more deeply moved came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 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 for days. Then Jesus said, did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God, so they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 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. When he had said this Jesus called in a loud voice lazarus. Come out. 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. Pete. Well, it's a remarkable passage, well known passage, remarkable passage. There are verses in there. That it's traditional in this country to read at at every funeral and they're they're often read.

And spoken on at lots and lots and lots and lots of funerals. But let's pray. Father help us now. This is amazing passage written for our benefit, written that we may believe. It's written that we may actually come to the Messiah ourselves.

And no resurrection life in him. And we ask you, please, as we look at it, we can't there's so many things in it. We can't look at everything. But as we skim through this passage, you would you would do your work. That the word of Jesus We come into our hearts here and open up the grave and call us out that we may be born into the kingdom of god.

We pray. You're praying in Jesus' name, r m. Well, there's a there's a city in Surrey. It's about it's about 15 miles away from here. And it's quite it's quite interesting because I'd never heard of it until a a little while ago.

Well, I'd sort of heard of it, but I didn't really know anything about it. And I think lots of people have actually know never heard of it or they just don't realize it's a city. And and that's that's sort of what goes on. It has actually a quarter of a million residents. Many have moved from London because it's overcrowded London into this city, so they'll be surrounded by the beautiful sorry, countryside amongst the residents of some very, very famous people.

The entrance of this city is very impressive if you've been to It's an avenue of Redwood trees, and you you come into it that way. There are lots of listed buildings in this city. Lots of different quarters and areas. It's it's beautifully laid out with boulevards and avenues and roads and There are lots of woods, there's lots of lawns, it even has its own lake, and it has 1 station now. It used to have 2 2 railway stations to it.

It was so popular. It's very beautiful, and it's very quiet, and it's a bit like a paradise city. I think most of us would wanna live there, but you can imagine it costs. It's in the surrey con countryside. It costs.

And sort of looking at you, I'm not sure. It would cost you everything if you wanna go and live in this place. It's called Brookwood. Never heard of it? It used to be called London's necropolis.

Now, an acropolis means city of the dead. It's a cemetery. London's Necropolis. Look like you get metropolis, Necropolis. That's what it used to be called.

Brookwood, London's Necropolis. And it used to be the largest necropolis or cemetery in the world. It's now sort of not that. It's the largest in Britain and 1 of the biggest in Europe. It was created because there were so many dead people in London The graveyards were full, and so they had to move them out to surrey, Brookwood.

It's just down from Gilford, London, necropolis. Originally, it had a dedicated railway line. Next to Waterloo was the London Macropolis station, and it went direct from Waterloo direct to London necropolis, Brookwood. It was amazing. A branch line that went straight there.

And there were 2 stations, in the cemetery. There was a north station and a south station. The north station was for nonconformists. The south station was for anglicans. Isn't that amazing?

They had to go a little bit further. The anglicans, that's what happens, isn't it? Living passengers were charged 6 shillings to go first class, 3 shillings and 6 months to go second class, 2 shillings to go third class, and that's obviously for a return ticket. The dead passengers would charge 1 pound for first class, 5 shillings for second class, and 2 shillings and 6 pence for third class, 1 way. Here's a picture of a ticket.

There's a third class ticket, coffee ticket, waterloo to Brookwood, London, Necropolis. It's there. It's amazing. It's worth going around. We went around it in in lockdown because it was something to do.

But it is amazing. It it has different areas for different faiths. We've already seen there's an anglican. It's lovely how they separate those 2. There's an anglican thing miles away from the nonconformists.

It has an islamic site added on. There's a thorough thorough thorough Zoroastrian site as well, where it's believed Freddie Mercury is, but no 1 will say. It's supposed to be a secret. Neropolis, the city of the dead. What a name?

Now, without trying to be morbid, We need to understand that all of us are on a train to the Necropolis. All of us. There are branch lines everywhere, not just in Waterloo, to a necropolis near you. In songs, you often get the idea of a slow train coming around the bend, which is a picture of death in those old gospel songs, the slow train there are other there's a gospel train which we'll get to. But the slow train.

It's often pictured death coming round the bend. Now you may be a first class, second class, third class person, you may have 1 of those tickets, but it doesn't really matter whether your first class or third class the slow trains coming round the bend and will take you to an acropolis. It doesn't matter whether you're anglican, or non conformist, or whether you're a Zoroastrian, or whether you're a Muslim, or whatever you are, the slow train is coming round the bend, and you will board it. Because in many ways, Our planet is a necropolis. Everybody that's died is buried on the planet.

No one's died outside of the planet. Everyone that's died, even when they're slightly in the atmosphere, their dust comes down to earth. This world is a graveyard. The world is a necropolis, so you hardly need to get on a train. Your playground, your workplace, is your graveyard.

It's chilling, isn't it? We're living in a necropolis. The whole world is a graveyard, and that is why we need to utterly and urgently listen to Jesus. There is no 1 else in the entire universe that you need to listen to. Utterly, urgently.

Jesus is utterly relevant for you because you are playing in your graveyard or the slow train is coming around the bend. Jesus said, and you can put these verses up in the next slide. In John chapter 5 before this event, he said very truly, I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the son of god and those who hear will live. He's warned us that the son of God is gonna speak and dead people will live. He warned us in chapter 5 that's gonna happen, and here we are now in chapter 11.

Now, that's an amazing sentence, isn't it? In a graveyard world. Compare that with say the actor, the director, the comedian, Woody Allen. Woody Allen's very famous statement. We probably know it, and you'll certainly know it when I say.

He said, I'm not it's not that I'm afraid to die. I just don't wanna be around when it happens. That's what he I'm I'm obviously not. But he explained that sentence in an article in Esquire magazine entitled Woodie Allen wipes the smile off his face. He's a comedian.

He writes this. Death is absolutely stupefyingly terrifying. And it renders anyone's accomplishments meaningless. It makes our lives look as irrelevant as the waves breaking on the seashell. To him, death is the end.

To him is the final station. To him, you take the coffin off and leave it in the necropolis. Go no further. It's the end of the line, and you can't go any further. And therefore, if it's the end of the line, it makes everything you've ever done, everything you've ever said everything you've ever achieved totally meaningless because if it's the end of the line, then it's the end of the line.

In John 11, Jesus turns things around. In John 5, he promises that death doesn't have to be the end of the line. In John 11, he shows us. He can turn death to life. A story of lazarus is interesting.

He's with his disciples. In the end of chapter 10, his enemies have wanted to kill him. He's chatting with his disciples, then comes the news that 1 of his best mates, lazarus, is is dying. He hangs around for a couple of days and doesn't go immediately until lazarus dies. He talks about glorifying.

Himself, you'll see the glory of God in in the death of of lazarus. And all kinds of things happen. And then in the end, He comes to the place, the Necropolis, the place, the tomb, the place of death. He comes. He's coming into the village.

And Martha comes out, a sister of lazarus, and say, if you've been here, he wouldn't have died. And then Mary comes out, the sister of lazarus, the other If you've been here, he wouldn't have died. And then Jesus comes to the place of the dead. It's if he's coming off the train as it were. And here's the first thing we see, and it's quite surprising.

Jesus rages at death. He's furious. Look at verse 32 and then 38. When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come along with her, that's Mary, also weeping, He was listen to the words, deeply moved in spirit and troubled. Then verse 38, Jesus once more deeply moved came to the tomb.

It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. Deeply moved and troubled. Once more deeply moved. Now that deeply moved means angry. So we were seeing something of Jesus anger this morning.

So there's a theme here, isn't there? He's moved to anger, but the word here is is a very graphic word. It's to do with horses. It's horses snorting in rage. It's like a war horse.

And it's snorting. It's so furious. It's raging horse. So in in 1 sense, if you wanna, you know, put that in sort of modern times because this war horse, it'd be like a tank firing away or an exoset missile coming down with an explosion or an aeroplane that's gonna shoot He's raging against death like a raging horse with indignant displeasure, And the word troubled there is agitated. He's moving backwards and forwards.

He's shaking, to and fro, just like a horse. And he's just raging against this stuff. And backwards and forwards, raging. That's the words that are used. Jesus is raging against death.

He hates it. He's screaming at it. At this point, it seems like he's with woody allen. Or or with Dylan Thomas with that famous poem. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Don't go gently into the night. Don't go gently into death? Stop going gently into death. Rage. Rage.

Rage against the dying of the light. Now this isn't just empathy that Jesus has for the grieving sisters and the mourners, that he's filled with rage against death. He understands just what death does. He doesn't say death doesn't matter. He doesn't say, oh, well we all die.

He doesn't say death is nothing. He doesn't say well, she was 96. She had a good innings. She nearly reached a hundred. She's he he doesn't say that.

He doesn't say, well, geez, gone, but someone else will take her place. It's no. This should not happen. Modern atheists, they try to convince us that death isn't important at all. Brian Cox, he tries to tell us that you know, when you die, you turn to star dust.

He says is is romantic way. But just putting star in front of dust doesn't make any difference. Dust is dust. You turn to dust. Steve Jobs, Apple, he said death is a is is very likely the best invention of life.

It's life's change. He he he sees it in an evolutionary atheistic way, you see, that it's the survival of the fittest. You gotta get rid of the old. That's why there must be so many, you know, iPhones. IPhone 1, iPhone 2, iPhone 3, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 6.

Get rid of Steve Jobs. Steve job 1, Steve job don't Steve jobs 3. Let's get a better 1. A fitter 1. He's dead now.

Hooray. Got rid of the old model. Now, it's all very well to talk like that in a lecture theater. But when your loved 1 has died, you know what it's like. Don't you?

Why why do we spend billions trying to get rid of a little tiny virus. Why did we actually shut ourselves up for, you know, ages? Stared of death. The atheist position, it's alright in a lecture theater. It's not real at all as the whole of their philosophy isn't.

The Bible is much more nearer, much more accurate. The Bible states that death is an enemy. And he's your enemy, and he's hungry. And he'll never be satisfied until all men and women and boys and girls and children enter in. Death destroys and Jesus sees that and he rages He's moved deeply, deeply moved and troubled.

Just see what Death has done in this story. Here's lazarus. He's much loved, isn't he? Clearly. I mean, we're told twice that Jesus loved Lazarus, and obviously the sisters loved Lazarus, and I guess other people loved lazarus, and people at least had respect for him because they were coming from Jerusalem to the to the funeral and pay their respects and they were crying and so forth.

So there's there's love for lazarus. But what does lazarus what does lazarus where does he have to be? They love him but they can't be near him. He stinks. They love him, but they have to separate from him.

They love him, but they have to wrap him up in the grave clothes. And put him in a tomb. And when Jesus shockingly comes to the tomb and says roll the stone away, Martha, the sister is clearly saying, we can't be near him. We love lazarus, but we can't be anywhere near him. You can't open up the tomb.

We don't wanna be near him. She says in verse 38, by this time there's a bad odor. For he's been there for 4 days, 4 days in a hot country and a tomb. I mean, the the old translation is actually much nearer of the original Greek. Which says, Lord, by this time, he stinketh.

He he stinks. It's not just a bad odor. He stinks he's been rotting for 4 days, where his eyes were, there is pools of liquid. He stinks. He's not only dead.

He's rotten. And even loving sisters can't abide to be near him. Even those who love him have to put him away and seal him up and locking up, he's revolting It's nauseous to be around the loved 1. The 1 we love we have to be separated from because death putrefries him. He stinks.

And that's what death does. Death separates us from our loved ones. Steve Jobs and Brian Cox, how foolish, how empty is atheism. Jesus sees it. He's angry.

We need to stop saying death is nothing. We ought to be outraged. Death is a big, big, big problem. War isn't our problem. Pandemic isn't our problem, disease isn't our problem, no 1 dies because of wars or not anymore people die because of a war or a disease or a pandemic, that isn't gonna die anyway.

Death is our issue. It's the big issue. So he rages. But there's a second thing. Jesus has a deeper rage here.

I hope you see this. See, death says that there is something very, very wrong with the world. It separates even those we love. We have to separate from the dead. That's why we have necropolises out in the Surrey Hill size.

The new testament, though, the bible, describes 2 types of deaths, a deeper rage here that Jesus has, I think. Against this second death. There's the physical death. We see that in the example, of lazarus, the physical death. It separates us from physical life.

It separates us from those that we love But the new testament says that there is another kind of death, a bit more subtle. We need to think a bit harder to see it, but it's a spiritual death. And because of the spiritual death, we have physical death. It's that way around. A spiritual death, and that separates us.

As physical death separates us from loved ones, spiritual death separates us from the God of love. We were made to walk out into the world a world of abundant life and growth. If you read the creation account in the bible, it's it's beautiful. It's a world full of life. So much life.

There's life in the sea. There's life in the air. There's life on the ground. There's life that gives birth to life. It's a constant life gives birth to life that gives birth to life, It's extraordinary, plants full of seeds that produce new plants, new life.

It's an amazing thing. I don't know whether you know anything about an aphid or black fry or green fry. Do you know anything about them? You you you'll if you if you grow anything, you'll see a plant, and there might be 1 aphid on it, 1 black fly or 1 green fly tiny tiny little things, and they're usually at the end of your plant where where there's nice succulent stuff. You'll see 1.

You go away, you come back the next day. How that happen? There's a billion of them. Yeah? Well, they give life to life.

So They can give birth to a baby that's already pregnant. Isn't that extraordinary? The baby is pregnant. So they give birth to a baby that gives birth to a baby. That's how they grow.

That's the sort of life that you get in this world that that God creates. It's life upon life upon life upon life. There's no shadow of death. There's no graveyard in in the Garden of Eden. There's a world where the God of life and light and love and joy and beauty stands back and says, it is good.

It is good. And then men and women are brought into this world, to go out into God's world, to do God's work, under God's word, to bring life, to bring life, to bring life, and growth, and life. There's no entropy here. No running down like batteries run down. You know, that's entropy.

Everything's running. There's no innings, you know. Where you get to 96 and you're out, you should have got to a hundred. It's none of that. There's no reaching your full potential because you'll never reach it.

Because there's always more to have and more to give and more to receive. There's no dying There's no running out. There's more, more, more, like aphids. That's the world God made. And God gave Adam and Eve this place in this world of life and he created them alive physically.

And alive spiritually. They were made for life and light and love and joy and beauty. And God says when he made them, They're very good. The God of Life said, they're really good. They were made to walk with God and talk with God.

They were made to love God and be loved by God. But death came, divorce, separation, spiritual, first, walking out on the life giver. You walk out on the life giver and where where are you in the land of the dead. Spiritual death, thinking we don't need the life giver, separating from the life giver. And along with spiritual death comes physical death dragged into this world, the Bible says our sin has separated us from God.

We can't hear him. We can't see him. We can't know him. We're in a tomb that stinks. And even though he loves us, how can he come near us?

Spiritually, rotten to the core. Sin severs, relation it with God who made us. Sims severs us from the God of life. And if you're severed from the God of life, love and joy and peace. You're in the land of the dead.

The acropolis world, a graveyard world, now just waiting for physical death to finish it all off. On the platform, waiting for the slow train to come, to take to bury you in the world that was your playground. Physical death, you see. Causes Jesus, rage, because it's a picture of spiritual death. And the even loved 1 can't come near.

The rotting spiritual stink. Look at Ephesians This is a book in the bible. He's writing to Christians, and he says as for you, you were dead, in your transgressions and sins. You were dead. In which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and the rulers of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

All of us also lived among them at 1 time gratifying the cravings of our flesh. And knowing its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were nature by nature deserving wrath. Deserving God's anger. We're dead.

The whole world is a graveyard, but the whole world It's full of spiritually dead people just waiting for the physical to end it all. So we have limited time. If physical death happens before spiritual death has been solved, then you will remain separated from God of Life forever. That's what the Bible says. It's a 1 way trip to the Necropolis.

Now, without understanding this, we'll never understand why Jesus came into the world. The wages of sin is death. The sting of death is sin. Sin breaking away from God has poisoned us. And it's killing us physically as it killed us spiritually The wages of sin is death.

That's what we've earned. So the ticket onto the slow train is free. You've already earned your price. Don't have to pay. Don't have to pay the ferryman.

Don't have to pay the bloke on the station. Oh, yes, you paid. Tickets, no no need for that. You've paid. Sinner, on you go.

The slow train's coming, and it's coming round the bend to the Necropolis. There's a 1 way ticket and less sin has been dealt with. Look at the hope in this verse here. 1 Corinthians chapter 15 in the bible. The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law because the law of God condemns us, it shows us that we're sinners.

You've broken God's law. But thanks be to God, He gives us victory through the Lord Jesus Christ. Now that would be something to hear as you're on the slow train going to the recropolis, wouldn't it? If suddenly the guards said It leaves Jim on the just this. You're on your train.

You're on your slave train to the property. London the property. Next station, I've got a little line here somewhere that I know, you know, if you paid your price, it doesn't matter if you're first class, second class, third class, ladies and gentlemen. But hey, there's this little sentence here. Thanks, Peter God, who gives us victory through the Lord of Christ.

Anybody interested? If we go up out of your seat, where's the God? Where's the God? I've got tickets here to get off this train onto another 1. Where's the God?

Yeah? So in this story, Jesus comes to the tomb of lazarus. He's angry. At what what death does, spiritual death, physical death. And he weeps.

That's the third thing I want to see. Jesus weeps. Look at verse 35. Jesus wept. Jesus stood face to face with the last enemy death.

He saw what sin had done, and he's angry. He sees that it's destroying the life of God and rotting the work of God both physically and spiritually. And he's angry, but he's not only angry. He weeps. It was extraordinary this, isn't it?

Jesus wept, shortest first in the entire Bible, 2 words, Jesus wept. It's such a powerful little verse full of pathos. You can't add, can you? You couldn't add a word. You could not add a single word to that verse to make it better.

Jesus wept, man of sorrow, full of grief. Jesus wept. When he sees your condition, Jesus weeps. He's not skipping around, It's not like I told you so. He's not just angry at death.

He sees what it does and he weeps and he weeps. It's quite a strong word. He weeps. Strongly weeps. Oh, the horror of sin and death.

He felt it. Death hurts everyone, and it hurts Jesus. And can it be that thou, my God, should cry for me. Isn't that amazing? Steve Jobs doesn't obviously weep.

Brian Cox certainly doesn't weep for you. Atheism doesn't care. Jesus weeps, but that's not enough. That's not enough. Here's my fourth point.

Jesus calls. Jesus calls. Now look at the story. First 38, let's read a bit. Jesus once more deeply moved, there it is, came to the tomb.

It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 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's been dead 4 days. He stinketh.

Then Jesus said, did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God, so they took away the stone. I mean, there been quite a lot of discussion on that. And then Jesus looked up and said, father, I thank you that you have heard me. He's praying to God. 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.

Lord, will you will will these people believe? This is what the whole book of John is about. Will these people believe? When he said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, lazareth come out. The dead man came out.

His hands and his feet wrapped with strips of linen and a cloth around his face And Jesus said to them take off the grave clothes and let him go. Well, Blo he's got life in him, and he's still got these things on. He's probably falling over. Jesus calls. Actually, he roars.

It's a mega voice. That's what the word means. It means mega voice. He roars like the lion of Judah. He roars out.

And then an immovable object meets an irresistible force. That's what's going on here. Death, an immovable object is dead. Yeah? How can he even hear the command?

But the voice of Jesus breaks into this dead man somehow, and when Jesus meets death he wins, Verse 43, Jesus called him out, verse 44, lazarus comes out. And as every preacher says, when they preached this verse, he had to say lazarus. Otherwise, everybody would have come out of the grave. He names him. He knows his name.

The crowd had been grieving for 4 days. Jesus comes along and in 1 minute he's alive. No 1 in history. This is why Jesus is right. No 1 in no 1 has this authority.

Do they? See, this is of trouble, isn't it? When people said, oh, you Christians, you're so sort of you're sort of nasty to say that Jesus is better than Mohammed. Well, can Muhammad do this? You know what?

I don't wanna be rude to Mohammed, but he can't do this. So why would I listen to Mohammed when Jesus can do this? If someone can raise the dead, he's worth listening to, isn't he? So Jesus is shown that he can command a decomposed body, and he comes out of the tomb. Remember those words in chapter 5 very truly, I tell you a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of son of God, and those who hear it will live.

So what does this say Jesus is? He's the son of God. Mohamed denies that he's the son of God, so he's wrong on lots of for reasons. This proves he is the son of god, because when the son of god speaks, the dead here, the dead here. How come the dead here?

But they do. Now listen, you mustn't leave this stuff. As a massive, amazing historical event. It's not here for you to say, isn't he marvelous, isn't he great. Let's sing a song about him.

It's not here for that only. Jesus is coming to call you out of the Macrop necropolis. He's calling you out of a tomb to live. Have you heard the voice of Jesus say, come Your name I'm not talking about whether your religious didn't go to church. Have you heard your name?

Have you heard Jesus call you to make you spiritually alive? Have you come out of the grave? Because if you're spiritual position isn't sorted out before you physically die, then you're gonna stay in the 1 way ticket to the necropolis. You come out the grave. Is there a before and after in your life?

There's a slow train coming coming round the bend. We'll take you to the necropolis. Which is already here your playground. But there's another train in good old songs, the gospel train. Get on board, the gospel train.

The gospel train is thundering a lot. And the gospel train Jesus will take you through the Necropolis, but out the other side. This gospel train busts through the Necropolis. It has another station to glory. The slow train stops there.

The gospel train pushes through. You go through death into resurrection. And that's the issue that Jesus is dealing with. Have a look at Jesus conversation here. With Martha in 21 to 27.

Now next week, we'll come back to this, I hope. But let's just have a quick look verses 21 to 27. Lord, Martha said to Jesus, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. See, Anyway, there's lots of stuff there. But I know that even now, God will give you whatever you ask.

Jesus said to her, your brother will rise again. Martha says, know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day. So she knows that there is a resurrection day. She knows that there's physical spiritual resurrection. She knows it.

Some people say the old testament people didn't know that. She did, so therefore they did. And so she knows that there's a resurrection day, a day where, you know, you're put right and you're with God. And Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection day. I am the resurrection and the life.

The 1 who believes in me will live, even though they die. Listen. They live. We're going through the properly city, but whoever lives by believing in we will never die. Do you believe this?

Yes, Lord, she said. She replied, I believe that you are the Messiah the son of God who's coming to the world. He he's coming to the world to be the resurrection day. You don't have to wait for spiritual resurrection. You can be resurrected now because Jesus has come to the graveyard world, that's why he come, the Messiah, the son of God, has come into a graveyard world to say, I will sort your future out.

Together we'll go through death, but you won't die. We're with through that station into resurrection life. Get on the board, the gospel train Jesus is saying. That there weren't trains in those days. But that's what he is saying.

Very truly, I tell you a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the son of God and those who hear it will live, and Jesus demonstrates this. I am the resurrection and the life and I demonstrate it by physically raising lazarus, but you can know spiritual resurrection now. Get on the gospel train, and we're whizzed through the Macropolis quick. Necropolis quick. That's what he's saying.

Do you believe this? Look, I'll prove you. I'll do the physical to show me what I can do the spiritual. Yeah? I'll resuscitate.

Here I'll show you I have power over rotting flesh. So come to me now, get on the gospel train. And together, We'll go through the Necropolis into glory. But I have a last point, nearly done. It's the before and after I was taken up with this week, the before and after, the transformation of lazarus from death to life.

It is marvelous, ain't it? Isn't it? It just struck me. You know those before and after photos, you know? Have you got a bald head?

And then there's a picture of a bloke with a massive bald head, isn't there? And then you see the next picture And you can't is it really the same bloke that he's got a full head of hair, you know? It's like that or are you fat? And then there's this whopping fatty there, and all of the fat is coming out. And then, you know, 6 weeks on this program and then he Oh my goodness.

How did he get those? You know, how did he look like that? Is it the same bloke? It's a massive difference before and after, isn't it? Or you've got weak little weakling he's on the beach and he's weak and he's pasty and and then 12 weeks on this program and this muscles coming out, you know, even his earlobes have got muscles on them.

It's for nominal. And you think, I need that I need that on board. I want to get that cream. I'm fat. I need to get that pill.

I'm weak. I need to do that, you know, buy that machine. And it would sort me out. And the the before and after photos well, imagine the before and after photos are lazarus. A decomposing stinking rotting body before.

Now take the grave clothes off. A healthy man. It's amazing, isn't it? And Jesus did that. And he did that physically to show what happened spiritually.

2 Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17 says, if anyone is in Christ, That's Jesus. The new creation has come. The old is gone. The new is here. It's here.

Resurrection days started here. When you're spiritually resurrected, Resurrection days already started here. If anyone is in Christ, he's a new creation. The old is gone, the newest come. Think of the transformation.

Think of the before and after, bald head, head of hair. Fat belly. Wow. Yeah? Life without Jesus' death.

Life with Jesus, hears the voice of God. Life without Jesus dead. Life with Jesus born again. Life without Jesus, your father is the devil. Life with Jesus, your father is God.

Life without Jesus, there's works of the flesh, there's sin going on. Life with Jesus, the fruit of the spirit is beginning to grow, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self control, patience. Life without Jesus, the before photo hell. Life with Jesus heaven. Before eternal death, after eternal life, before hungry, after the bread of life, before thirsty, After the water of life before alone, after in the family of God and in the family of God.

In in the family of the church. Before outer darkness, after light of life. Without Jesus, your resurrection body will be the decaying rotten thing that you have now with Jesus a new body or as erection body. It makes it a minute before and after. Jesus has come.

I am the resurrection and the life, the 1 who believes in me will live. Even though they die, even though they die, and whoever lives by believing in me will never die Do you believe this? Get on the gospel train, come to Jesus, travel through the Necropolis, That's what it seems to happen with the queen. She's been dead for 4 days. 4 days she's been dead.

Where is she? She's not in a funny angel skipping through the thing with with her husband. She's not gazing at her husband. Poor old King Charles the third got that wrong. She's gazing at Jesus.

Yeah. The Jesus that she seemed to know and talk about a lot. 4 days, Jesus comes to her tomb and she's resurrected. She's alive, waiting for a new body, That old frail body that met that prime minister, I wonder she died, but that old frail body that met another prime minister, and You could see that body, that body is decaying, isn't it? 1 day will be so alive, so rich, so beautiful.

Have you got on the gospel train? Have you come to the lord Jesus Christ? Have you trusted in him? Do you believe? And if you don't believe, why on earth wouldn't you?

Have you asked him? Have you heard him saying to you, even tonight? Come. Don't rock. Come.

Be resurrected spiritual so that you will know a resurrection physically in the new creation Will you come to him? Let's just have a think. What are you gonna do? As he spoken to you to none it, and is it time you got on the train and said, I'm coming lord Jesus. I'm coming out of the grave.

I'm coming out of living for self. I'm coming to live for God.

Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

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