Thursday after Exaudi
Scripture: St. John 11:1-27 (NKJV)
1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” 4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” 12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with Him.”
17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Then 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 of 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 at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever 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 to come into the world.”
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.”
Real life is more than just the day-to-day existence of this fallen world. (Thank the Lord for that!) This current life that any of us experience is full of pain, trouble, and sin. Real life is found in Jesus Christ. In Him we have the life of forgiveness, so we know that no matter how bad this life is we will have abundant life in the next life after the resurrection of the dead. But we also have many blessings now because of Him. In Him we also learn contentment and joy even when things are bad. This blessing comes from His own example that even the worst suffering can be used by God to work great good, and that can be a comfort, if we have the help of His Spirit to see it that way.
Sin has damaged this current life and world. It is actually a blessing that our time in it is limited. Its own time is limited. The present things will pass away. But the blessings of true life in Him will not pass away. They give us hope now, and are a preview of the greater things to come in the everlasting life of the world to come. So let us not grow weary or hopeless when the present life troubles us with sickness and death. The life we have in Christ crucified is far greater than anything we know now!
We pray: Lord God, grant us faith, hope, and love according to Your Holy Spirit so that we may not despair of this sinful world, but hold fast to our abundant life in Jesus Christ. Amen.