August 29, 2016

Today you should read: John 11:1-44

“Death aims with fouler spite at fairer marks.” –Francis Quarles

In over 10 years of ministry, I’ve found that one of the toughest parts of my job is dealing with death. Whether it’s a funeral where everyone is unsure of where the person is spending eternity or the grieving of a family that knows that they will one day see them in heaven but won’t get a chance on this side of life. Death hurts and it doesn’t just hurt those who know the deceased. It hurts the friends and family who love those who are mourning. It’s why a community is rocked when a teenager commits suicide and it’s why Jesus cried seeing his good friends, Mary & Martha mourning over the death of their brother, Lazarus (v. 35).

There is nothing beautiful about death. We were not created with it in mind. We were created with eternity in mind and we only experience death on this earth as a consequence of sin entering the world (Romans 6:23). This truth is also what makes Jesus so glorious and beautiful. As Jesus mentions in today’s Scripture “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (v. 25-26)

Jesus takes us back to the life we were supposed to live before sin, Satan and death. He tells Mary and Martha that He is the resurrection and life. You may die but you will live in the next life. He brings that resurrection and life about through faith in Him. It’s truthfully the one and only thing that gives me hope when encountering death so often in ministry. Personally knowing the One who has defeated death and having the opportunity to preach that God to each and every person that I can. So what can we learn from this wonderful reminder.

 1. We should have COMPASSION for anyone who’s mourning from death.

We’re to be like Jesus in His example toward Mary and Martha, especially knowing that we weren’t created for it in the first place.

2. We should present the only HOPE one can have when talking about death.

Of course, this is through Jesus and the Gospel message. He gave Mary and Martha hope as He reminded them that He is the resurrection and life. They believed that and said they knew they’d see their brother in the end. Little did they know that Jesus was talking about that day as He did one of His greatest miracles by bringing a 4 day old dead body back to life.

Do you grieve when others are grieving from death? Do you offer hope for others in the midst of death?

By: Erik Koliser

Author: Center Point Church

A multi-campus church in central Kentucky. Our mission is to take everyone we meet one step closer to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

6 thoughts on “August 29, 2016”

  1. “No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” v.4b

    Thanks for the commentary Erik. Verse 4 really spoke to me today. It caused me to ponder this question: Do I think about the many ways God can be glorified through the difficult circumstances in my life?

    If I am really honest about it, the “woe is me” response comes easily. My prayer today is that God will enable me to glorify Him in all circumstances. Blessings to you Jumpstart readers as we begin a new week!

  2. “There is nothing beautiful about death. We were not created with it in mind.” This statement really connected with me this morning. I can’t help but wonder if Jesus’ grief in this chapter was twofold: sad for his friends and their loss, but also mourning the status of the world – confronted with a death that, in the world he originally created, would have never happened.

  3. “Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go.'”

    The picture of Jesus calling Lazarus out of the tomb and then calling on Mary and Martha to help free him up for life spoke to me today. I wonder how many areas of our lives are in a state of death due to sin, where we need Jesus to speak life back into us? I wonder whose lives Jesus is restoring who may need a little help removing the grave clothes so they can walk freely?

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