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Monday, April 18, 2011

Do You Believe This?

"On His arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.  Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet Him, but Mary stayed at home.  'Lord', Martha said to Jesus, 'if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.'  Jesus said to her, 'Your brother will rise again.'  Martha answered, 'I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.'  Jesus said to her,'I Am the resurrection and The Life.  He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die.  DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?'"  John 11:17-26
On Sunday, our Sunday School lesson covered the first half of Colossians chapter one.  I shared with my class that verses 13-14 of Colossians one were "shoutin' ground" verses:
"For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
The word "rescued" in the original Greek is "rhyomai" and means to draw, drag along the ground, to draw or snatch from danger, rescue, deliver. 

As Easter Sunday approaches, my mind has been on the passage I shared above out of John 11.  I've also been thinking about the fact that as glorious as the verses from Colossians one are, I'm reminded that the "rescuing" talked about there required the death of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.  My sins required His death so that I could be reconciled to a Holy God.  I was dead in my sins and transgressions before Christ snatched me from the danger of my sin.  What danger you ask?  The danger of eternal separation from God.

But it doesn't end there.

I'm not rescued from my sin just to be safe.  According to the Colossians passage I'm "brought into the Kingdom of the Son He loves".  And it is there that I have "redemption, the forgiveness of sins".  Now if that don't light your fire, your wood is wet!  I have a living hope, because the Source of all my hope is Jesus Christ, The Resurrection and The Life; present tense, not was or will be, but IS!

I pray during this most Holy week that you will consider your answer to the question Jesus posed to Martha and to all of us:  DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?