Saturday, August 8
On death and life
Scripture: Jeremiah 3-4, John 11
John 11:25–26 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”
John 11:33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled.
John 11:38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance.
John 11 is the remarkable story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. When Martha told Jesus that she knew Lazarus would rise on the last day with everyone, Jesus said these startling words. “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.”
When they took Jesus to the tomb, He was angry. It says that twice, in verses 33 and 38. The Greek word meant to be angry, indignant, deeply moved—it was used of a horse snorting in anger.
This is one of the few places we see Jesus get angry. What made Him angry? Death. This is not what God intended for us. When Jesus confronted a friend dying young, it made Him angry. Jesus is the Word—the full expression of God. God hates death and has given His Son to overcome it. Jesus died and rose so death would die forever, and we would live!
I recently received a text from an old friend who husband passed away many years ago when he was only 38. He was one of my best friends. His death made me angry. I couldn’t accept it as “the will of God.” God wants us to live—and to live abundantly, eternally, a rich and satisfying life (John 3:16, 10:10). I don’t believe this early death was what God wanted for my friend or his family. It made me angry at death. I believe it made God angry too. It did not make me angry with God, although I asked the inevitable and unanswerable, “Why?”
I look forward to the day when Jesus returns and the Kingdom of God fully comes and every enemy will be put under Jesus’ feet.
1 Corinthians 15:25–26 For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death.
Death is an enemy to be destroyed. That will happen at Jesus’ return. Until then, we fight this enemy, and look forward to its ultimate defeat.
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
Prayer: Lord, I hate death. I hate that it robs people of life. I hate what it does to those left behind. I look forward to You putting our enemy under your feet, and ushering in the new order, the Kingdom of God.