Father’s Day 2016:
My kids each bring to me a piece of construction paper with some of their favorite things about me, as well as their observations of things that I like. We all enjoyed some of the different observations they’ve made of me over the years; but one specific thing caught my attention...my favorite food. Oh it wasn’t that they hadn’t noticed what foods I like...no no...they know.
In fact all five of my kids had come up with the same answer: Pizza. They even drew pictures of a slice of pizza and the likeness of them was startling as they were all so similar in appearance, betraying which type of pizza I value the most.
It then occurred to me that I had made so clear to them my “love” for pizza, (whether by talking about it, ordering it, or consuming mass quantities of it), that it was rivaled by no other delicacy offered to the salivary glands. It was more than obvious to them.
Then it hit me. Lazarus.
You heard me right….Lazarus. You see in John chapter 11 Jesus did something that only He has the power to do….raise the dead to life. He did this for a man named Lazarus. So when Lazarus’s story was thought to be over, Jesus shows it to be just the end of a chapter, and four days later, Jesus turns the page.
So here’s how Lazarus and pizza coincide: John 12.9-11.
“When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.”
When Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus, he became walking evidence of Christ’s power. When you and I are raised from death to life in Christ spiritually by giving our lives to Him in surrender and exchanging our sins for His righteousness, we become born again...a new creation (Ephesians 2.1-10; Colossians 2.13-14; 2 Corinthians 5.17). Lazarus was so closely associated with Jesus due to Christ’s work in his life that the religious leaders that wanted Jesus dead realized they had to find a way to get rid of Lazarus too. They were too closely connected by what Jesus had done.
Is the mark of Christ that evident upon us? Meaning that we are so transformed and changed by Him that if people want to be rid of Jesus they have to find a way to be rid of us as well.
Is it so obvious that I belong to Jesus that my kids would never hesitate and would all agree, that sure I love pizza above all other foods…
...But the love of my life, and the purpose for my being, and the hope for my eternity are all in Christ Jesus.
Together...let’s make our salvation in Christ, just that obvious!
Love you all,