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It’s the gift-giving time of the year, and the perennial question always arises: “What do you give to someone who has everything?”, or, simply doesn’t NEED anything? But of our 3 texts today: Revelation 3:14-4:11 and Daniel 9-11, it is John 12:1-11 that spins that question in a whole new way. How do you threaten someone who’s already lost everything? Better yet, who’s already died?
I’m Reid Ferguson and this is Through the Word in 2020.
I’ll have to admit I find the idea that the Chief Priests made plans to put Lazarus to death after Jesus raised him from the dead – hilarious. Not because Lazarus couldn’t die again – he could and eventually did. But because he had been there, and knew first hand the power over death his Savior truly wielded.
And so we have this imagined conversation in poem form.
Laz’rus! Have you heard the news?
The word’s all over town
The Priests, the Scribes and Pharisees
all want to bring you down
They’re plotting when and planning where
its best to take you out
Their minds are set, their hearts are hard
They’ll move without a doubt
The more I squawked and stammered on
the more his face would shine
And leaning back in perfect peace
He said “son, pay no mind”
“They’re scheming what? Now think with me
To kill me? That’s the plan?
Now hear me son, I’ve walked that path,
and walked it back again
“They really think that’s going to throw
a panic into me?
I’ve stared at death from inside out
and that’s some sight to see!
“Now I’m supposed to shake and quake
at threats from mortal men,
And hold my tongue from telling all
Christ raised me up again?
“You’ve got…, you’ve got…”, he started out
in trying to explain
“You’ve got to just be be kidding me!”
Then, like bursting from some pain –
He let a howl from deep inside
escape with such a roar
I’m sure they heard him miles away
Or three or maybe four
The loudest, deepest, grandest laugh
that ever man has heard
erupted till the rafters shook.
A laugh the whole world heard.
As tears were streaming down his cheeks
he heaved and gasped for air
Then thinking he had stopped himself
broke out again and blared
“They’re going to try and kill me!
The man who Jesus raised!
Like death could ever scare me now –
Christ’s precious name be praised!”
And then he laughed, and laughed some more
Till all of us laughed too
in joy too deep for human words
Though shared by all too few
The promise of eternal life
Came crashing in on all
That Jesus truly conquered death
And triumphed o’er the Fall
No fear of death bound Lazarus
No threat could make him doubt
He’d known the power of Christ our Lord
Though buried – he came out
At just a word from Jesus’ lips
the power of death was gone
and life returned to lifeless flesh
The Kingdom Light had dawned
The day will come when we’ll laugh too
The trump of Christ will sound
And all the dead in Christ the Lord
will rise up from the ground
And meeting Jesus in the air,
with all who still remain
With Lazarus and all the rest
We’ll laugh at death and pain
In raptured sobs of joy and glee
We’ll reign with Him on high
And never feel the whispered lisp
Of pain or grieving’s sigh
We’ll shake our head like Lazarus did
at the foolishness of fear
To think – we’re loved by Christ the King
No joy, can be so dear
No doubt when Lazarus heard the news
that men sought his dispatch
He just lit up and shook his head –
Don’t doubt it, Laz’rus laughed
One day, all the dead in Christ will laugh like this too.
God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.