Advent Scripture Calendar

12) Father, I thank You

Rev. Henk Poot - 9 December 2021
Thursday 9 December  

John 11:17-44

‘I am the resurrection and the life’

John 11:25

Yesterday, we read about the similarities between Jesus and Joshua, the new shepherd who will lead Israel. Joshua is appointed as he stands face to face with the new high priest Eleazar, the son of Aaron. Eleazer is the Hebrew name for Lazarus.

That name appears in John 11. Lazarus is a good friend of Jesus. Jesus receives word from Mary and Martha, the two sisters of Lazarus, that their brother is seriously ill. Jesus waits another two days before going to Bethany. Afterwards, we find out that Lazarus died the same day. But what is even more striking is Jesus’ faith. He comforts Martha with the assurance that He is the resurrection and the life. Dismayed by so much sorrow, He goes to the tomb of His friend, has the stone rolled away, says a prayer and calls Lazarus back from the dead.

I think that the death of Lazarus is a foreshadowing of His own death for Jesus. And the resurrection of His friend must be an assurance for Him that the Father will not abandon Him to death either. The resurrection of Lazarus is a sign and a foreshadowing for Jesus, which He receives in great faith.

Personally, I take three things from it. Jesus’ deep indignation about death and the sorrow it brings us. Then the certainty that we may follow Him in the resurrection. That is Advent too: we expect life! We may follow Jesus through death to life. And finally, His beautiful but short prayer: ‘Father, I thank You that you have heard Me’. Such trust is expressed in that prayer.

We thank God for knowing our sorrows. We give thanks to Him that in Jesus, He gives us life. We give thanks that He hears and answers us more than we realise.

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