March 29, 2020

Preview: New Life

John 11:17-27, 38-44

“Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

—  John 11:43-44

Lazarus met Jesus—many times. The two of them were friends. Jesus and his disciples had often stayed at the home of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. So when Lazarus died, Jesus joined the family in grieving deeply.

Lazarus had now been dead for four days, long enough for everyone to know that he was certainly dead. But Jesus told them to open the tomb anyway—and when he commanded Lazarus to come out, the dead man came back to life and walked out of the tomb.

This is an astonishing miracle, but it shows us even more than Jesus’ miraculous power. It shows us that Jesus is stronger than death. This story acts like a kind of preview for the even more important story of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus points forward to that event when he says to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.”

This reality of Jesus’ power over death gives my husband and I such great hope that we have named our son Lazarus. We want his name to point to the hope that he can have—every day of his life—because Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Lazarus and each one of us can have hope because Jesus is stronger than death.

Lord and Savior, we praise you that you are stronger than death. We praise you that because you live, we can live forever with you. Amen.

About the author — Rebecca Jordan Heys

Rebecca Jordan Heys serves as a pastor at Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Kyle, are the parents of two children.

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