Peace if possible. Truth at all costs. ~ Martin Luther

I’ll Take a Resurrection Please!

While there is still life people believe that God can yet heal, preserve, save. Once death has come, however, everyone sees it as too late. But Jesus declares, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” (John 11:25)
Jesus had been called to come to His friend Lazarus who was gravely ill. But Jesus delayed, and by the time He arrived Lazarus was already dead. Disappointed and heartbroken, Mary and Martha greeted Jesus by saying that if only He’d made it on time their brother would not be in the grave.
How often do we think God is too late? He didn’t answer in the manner or according to the schedule that we were expecting. Now it’s all over. God didn’t make it on time.
Sometimes God will prefer to glorify His name by a resurrection rather than a preservation or healing.
Recently my good friend, Pastor Vinny Provenzano, was sharing with a group of us out of Ezra chapter 4. In that chapter we read how the enemies of God’s people disrupted the rebuilding of the Temple. The last verse of the chapter (v24) has the melancholy words, “Thus the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem ceased, and it was discontinued until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.” That means the project stopped for 15 years. The people had been so envisioned, so excited – but the work “died”.
But then in the very next verse (Ezra 5:1), God sent two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, with the Word of the Lord. And so suddenly the building recommenced. The vision was resurrected.
In Nehemiah’s day there was similar opposition to the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls by an enemy, but the work was NOT stopped. The enemy was overcome and the work was completed in record time. Why didn’t God do the same in Ezra’s time?
Sometimes God will prefer to glorify His name by a resurrection rather than a preservation or healing.
In Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37), the death was so set in that it wasn’t a scene of mere corpses, but dry bones; bleached skeletons. Clearly it wasn’t even a recent death. This army had been slain for a long time.
God asked Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?” The prophet answered “Lord, You know.” This is not a lack of faith. It is a recognition that there is a sovereignty about the work of God. If God does not move it cannot be done. WE cannot raise the dead.
What will our answer be to the Lord? Do we have the faith to believe that no matter how great the death, yet God knows what He will yet do? Can we say, “You ARE the resurrection and the life.”
Maybe you’re part of a church or a ministry that doesn’t just seem “sick” any longer, it seems to be dead. Once there was life and vitality. Why was it allowed to die? Why didn’t God intervene?
Perhaps God wants to encourage you with His word today that sometimes He just will prefer to glorify His name by a resurrection.
Pastor Phil