When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away, and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home.

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:17-26

I’ve never seen anyone, dead for four days, come back to life. Medical science can’t do it. Benny Hinn can’t even pull off a trick like that. If you have been dead for four days, as the King James Version used to put it, “Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.”

I’ve never seen a dead man come back to live but I have seen plenty of people, as good as dead, who God has resurrected into brand new lives.

I know a guy who seemed to have the world by the tail, except for the part where he was on the edge of losing a high paying job because of his drinking. He kept all of that secret until the morning after he had been arrested for DUI. His wife was threatening to leave him and take their child with her. He was broken. I couldn’t do anything for him.

But I had a friend, a pastor in recovery from alcoholism, who once said that the only thing to do in a situation like that was to take the person to an AA meeting. So that is what I did.

Today he is a new man. Sober for years. Still married to the same patient and loving woman. He has a great life. And he would be the first to tell you that his sobriety is not something he did on his own – it is a gift from God that came through his willingness to take certain steps.

I know plenty of people like that. They all say the same thing. Their recovery has been their “this life resurrection to new life” and all the credit goes to God.

We say every week when we confess our faith using the Apostles’ Creed that we believe in the “resurrection of the body”. I do believe in that. I just don’t think we have to wait until we die to see it. God’s transformative power is available to us today, tomorrow, and forever. No matter how much it looks like we stinketh.

Let us pray: Thank you, dear Lord, for the power you have to raise us to new life, to pull us out of the ashes of our brokenness, out of the mud of life, and set our feet on a new path. Draw near to those who are hopeless, to those grieving the death of loved ones, and to those suffering in despair. For you alone are the power greater than ourselves who gives us life, new life, and the life to come. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


6 Responses to “”

  1. kirk921 Says:

    A Men

  2. Sharon Longnecker Says:

    This is so wonderful, full of hope for all. Thank you.

  3. Char Says:

    Praising God for my sister’s 18+ years of sobriety. Thank you for this important message!

  4. Mary Harper Says:

    A new way to look at those verses, thanks

  5. Steve Leeman Says:

    Great post. You always have a powerful spiritual recovery message.


  6. Carolee Groux Says:

    It is good to be reminded that we can be resurrected to new life in this life, as well as in our afterlife. Thank God for that, and thank you for this powerful message of hope.

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