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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sermon 03062013 Wed. of Lent 3

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray!  Glorious Heavenly Father, we come before You this morning/evening to learn and lean upon You.  Through Lazarus, Your servant, his death would not bring simple change, but radical revolution of Your Glory being revealed.  May we look for how Your love and our lives may be changed and reveal for us the greatest mystery of Your Glory being revealed in Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection for all of mankind, but especially for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel during our Lenten pilgrimage.  AMEN.

In our countries history there are many great men, such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan.  History remembers these men because of their heroism, determination and zeal to do what was right in the face of opposition.  Yet, what is more revealing is not what they each individually or collectively did for our country, but a greater fact is that each of them had a role to play in the a greater plan of salvation that continues to unfold even to this very day.

This morning/evening we hear the story of a man named Lazarus in our series of People and Places of Lent.  Listen to the Apostle John as he tells the beginning of Lazarus story: (John 11:1-4)
11 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”
It is very clear from what we heard that there is a greater purpose for Lazarus sickness and even his eventual death.  Yes it seems a little strange to hear Jesus say, “This sickness is not to end in death”, when after staying where he was, Lazarus in fact died.  But the reality is Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity, Who helped form and shape the earth from its creation is Lord and Master even over death.

The greater significance is that the purpose for this sequence of events in the life of Lazarus is for a sole purpose, “so that the Son of God may be glorified.”  Our culture today has one notion and understanding of glory, it is of accolades in the newspaper or on television, medals hung around a persons neck, banners hung in the rafters of the Max Jones field house, fields being named in their honor and history books or memoirs being written in their honor after they have entered their eternal rest.  But the reality is that Lazarus sole purpose here on earth, his sole purpose in being sick and his death is in order that Jesus Christ, the Son of God may be glorified.

How could Jesus be glorified?  This is pointing directly to Golgotha.  This sequence of events in the life of Lazarus, who had two sisters, Mary and Martha that we know a lot about is a sequence of events that is to reveal the Glory of God.  It isn’t that Jesus Christ ruler over death will raise Lazarus from the dead, for He will do that.  It isn’t that Jesus waited to go see Lazarus, which He in fact did.  It isn’t that the disciples needed yet another miracle that was beyond their understanding.  This sequence of events with the sickness and death of Lazarus was meant to begin our journey to the Cross of Calvary and the eventual fulfillment of the plan of salvation.

The plan of salvation is simply that Jesus Christ came into this world to live, lead and die on the Cross of Calvary for the entirety of the sins of mankind.  Jesus Christ offers all who believe life and salvation because of His great love for each of us.  This love was manifest clearly in Jesus emotions over Lazarus, not because of His death, but because Jesus knew that when He raised Lazarus from the dead the wheels of destiny would continue to be set in motion that He would sacrifice Himself on the Cross of Calvary for all of mankind.  And in His sacrifice He would suffer for each and every one of our sins.  But in Jesus Christ suffering, He would be Glorified and thus fulfill the truth revealed to and for each of us from our text, that “the Son of Man would be glorfied.”  May we as we continue to journey through Lent begin to see and more fully understand the story of salvation offered for all of mankind, but especially for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel ‘glorifying Jesus Christ’ on our Lenten pilgrimage.  AMEN.
//trial script