Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 28, 2012 … The Back-breaking Miracle!

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 302

Blogger’s Note: Prepare your heart for today’s reading and my journal entry by using this link and seeing/hearing Nicole Nordeman sing her song, What If, the haunting question which so many had to ask after Jesus performed one of His most dramatic miracles, the raising of Lazarus from the dead …  . Once again, listen and be uplifted as we pursue – together – the knowing of God through His word from John 11.

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: John, Chapters 11 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passages: John 11: 47-50 : [NLT] … { Reading John’s Chapter 11 has many great lessons from the scenario of Jesus raising his friend Lazarus from the death, illustrating to the people and scaring the religious leaders as Jesus showed His power over even death. This miracle was that proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back. But my devotional focus today is on the Sadducee, Caiaphas, the High Priest of the Sanhedrin at this time as Passover approached; and Caiaphas, who didn’t believe in a resurrection and was in league with the Romans simply wanted Jesus gone. He becomes the personification of any/all who simply can’t or won’t believe in Jesus as Messiah, the Son of God.} 47 Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council£ together to discuss the situation. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. 48 If we leave him alone, the whole nation will follow him, and then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.” … 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said, “How can you be so stupid? 50 Why should the whole nation be destroyed? Let this one man die for the people.”… 

My Journal for Today: Okay, … in my chronological reading in the New Testament today, I’m led to John’s Gospel account, Chapter 11, with contains one of the most significant stories about Jesus performing miracles in His earthly ministry; and as it turns out, this miracle, the raising of Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, from the dead was a fulcrum event in Jesus’ ministry; and there are so many teaching points which can be made out of this eye-witness account by John.

There is the curious account of Jesus delaying for several days when He knew that Lazarus was dying. There is the poignant scene of Jesus weeping when He is close to the grave of Lazarus. And there is that powerful scene when Jesus calls out Lazarus from the tomb by name. And there is the marvelous character studies wrapped up in the faith of two whose faith had been in questioned in their past, … Martha and Thomas, … who stepped forward after Lazarus was raised and illustrated complete surrender to Jesus as their Messiah.

But today I focus on one who simply could not take the reality of what others reported as truth in this story of Jesus’ victory over death; and I’m talking about Caiaphas, the High Priest of the Sanhedrin at the time, a Sadducee who would not allow himself to believe that the resurrection was real and that this man, Jesus, could actually be Whom He was claiming to be – The Son of God.

Caiaphas may have been asking the exact question which Nicole Nordeman asks in her song, to which I’ve linked my fellow readers above, … What if? Yes, what if this Jesus is more than just a man? What if He’s really The Messiah? But some, like Caiaphas, simply can’t have that in their mindset and must do all they can to eliminate this man – the Messiah – from our social landscape. He must be gone! And so, the Caiaphas figures set about doing all they can to crucify the image of THIS JESUS from our culture; … and they do whatever it takes to erase the concept of JESUS, the God-man, from the minds of any who might believe that He was/is exactly Whom He claimed to be.

Caiaphas lives today in the hearts of those who may have heard the stories of people, like me, whose lives have been changed forever by believing in this Man, Jesus, as the Son of God. And the Caiaphases of today will do all they can to eradiate “Jesus” and crucify His image in our culture.

If you’re reading this, I doubt that you are one of those in the mold of Caiaphas. If you were, you wouldn’t be reading here because the truth from God’s word is a mirror which you couldn’t take; and you wouldn’t read a chapter like John 11 because it’s too threatening to you, … just as it was when Caiaphas had to answer the “WHAT IF” question for himself.

Yes, ... those like you and me believe that Jesus did raise Lazarus from the dead; and He, Himself, was raised from the dead as well; and we have answered Nicole Nordeman’s “What If” question with a positive “HE IS!” And praise God, because of it … we’ll spend eternity with the One Who raised Lazarus and the One Who will raise you and me forever.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, thank You for being there to let me come out of my grave to be with You forever. Amen

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