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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

3/24/11 John 12:17-19

17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”

(Second Tomb of St. Lazarus in Larnaca, Cyprus- the first was in Bethany from which he was raised)

Thoughts: If you were a part of the crowd that saw Lazarus raised from the dead, could you keep from spreading the word?   Would you not want to tell everyone?  Yet the resurrection of Christ affects us in that it assures us that we will ourselves be raised by Him.  Can we not invite someone to worship with us this Easter?  Amazingly, those who are against God, get angry when the Church succeeds- but it is out of their hands.  They could not put Lazarus back in the tomb, and they could not place Jesus back there either.  There is a tomb in Cyprus that bears Lazarus's bones where Lazarus went as a missionary years later. Lazarus was appointed by Barnabas as the first Bishop of Kittim, and died thirty years later.   But there is no second tomb for Jesus.  He cannot be thwarted.  That is, after all, the lesson of resurrection- even death cannot hold him down.  So we should spread the news of hope.

Prayer:  Give me faith as the people who saw Lazarus raised had faith.  Help me to believe and so spread the good news.
John Calvin Abridged: He repeats what he has said before that many were aroused to faith by the miracle of Lazarus.  They had great reason to call Mary's Son the Messiah.  The enemies of Christ urge themselves into greater rage for they saw their own laziness and cowardice as the reason fame of Christ spread.  If the enemies of God persevere so obstinantly, the people of God should be strong and persevere in the truth.

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