20 April – Additional Notes

JOHN 11: RESURRECTING THE DEAD

You may remember from yesterday’s Breadcrumb that Jesus was walking in Solomon’s Colonnade at Hanukkah – the Feast of Dedication – our equivalent of Christmas, the Festival of Light. We have no record at all of Jesus celebrating His birthday, as we celebrate birthdays today. It made me wondered if Jesus had been thinking about His birthday while the nation celebrated what has since become a global celebration of the Light of the World – Immanuel, God with Us.

But few may know the connection this moment has with a conversation 800 years earlier – that it all started with the Creator God speaking through the ancient prophet Isaiah to Ahaz, King of Israel, saying…

“Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven.”[a]

The king refused but Father God sent His sign anyway. It went as deep as Sheol (hell) when our Maker caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Jesus.[b] And it went as high as Heaven when the Lord God Almighty then raised Him up.[c] So, looking at what John’s covered in his book so far, his record of Jesus life is focused on His “other-worldly” side. What it meant to be Immanuel – God with Us – as the ancient prophet said.[d]

John has followed several themes to explain Immanuel – God with Us. If God were with us in person, it’d be safe to say that True Light would come into the world.[e]  Then if “man does not live by bread alone, but lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord…”[f], naturally the Living Word of God would become flesh to dwell among us.[g] If it’s true that “…the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need…”, then Immanuel – God with Us – would be our Good Shepherd personified .[h] If the Creator God is the Author of Life who can “…put to death and give life…”[i], then Immanuel – God with Us – would, of course, mean that the Resurrection and the Life would be seen in person.[j]

He Is Risen Tomb Easter Wallpaper BackgroundSo today’s chapter is about raising up a man who had been dead for four days and it’s all about revealing the Glory of Immanuel – God, the Resurrection and the Life, with Us. It isn’t a new thing but like any good playwright, the Author of Life is revealing information gradually as His epic Play unfolds. The ancient prophet Daniel, for example, saw visions of a continuation of this life…

“…A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before Him. Thousands upon thousands attended Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened…”[k]

Even as far back as Moses there was an understand that the Author of Life had a book.[l] But unlike Santa Claus – who’s making a list and checking it twice of those who’ve been naughty and nice – God’s list is a sure record without question of all those born as His image-bearers – His children. Our Creator’s gift of life is freely and indiscriminately given to all alive, when He created us all in His own image to be like Him[m] – that is, in the likeness of the Living God and Lord of Life. While it had become common knowledge by the 1st Century AD, that there was a hope of a resurrection – the dead rising to life [v24] – Moses knew, 1,500+ years earlier, that our names could be blotted out of our Maker’s Book of Life.[n]

So at a time and place in the storyline – when Jesus had retreated back to where Father God had first confirmed His identity and commissioned Him to accomplish Eternal Life for the whole world in the first place[o] – a message came through from close friends saying that Lazarus is sick. [v1-3] By the time the news came through, however, Jesus already knew that His good friend had died [v11-15], but that this had happened so that God’s Name (Immanuel) would be glorified.[v4]

If this was a staged play – the key to this scene is when Jesus asked:

“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” [v25-26]

With the surety of having been named, recognised and recorded in my Father God’s Book of Life, all I have to do is maintain my understanding of my Maker and His Global MasterPlan for humanity. But like Martha, I can say that I believe one minute [v27] but, give it time, and I begin to doubt how this is possible practically. [v39] Do I really believe or don’t I?

“…Did I not say to you  that if you believe, you will see  the glory of God?” [v40]

With less than 48hrs left to Jesus life, this chapter closes with the topic of how many are believing. The religious leaders are certainly worried about the numbers who could believe, if Jesus wasn’t dealt with swiftly. But their issue wasn’t about whether or not Jesus was who He said He was i.e. Immanuel – God, The Resurrection and The Life, with Us – and the proof of this is in raising someone who’d been dead four days. Quite practically, they just couldn’t see how this would work – having to balance their precarious position with the mob on one side and the Romans on the other. [v48]

Then Caiaphas, the high priest that year, spoke up and, in doing so he revealed how Father God could possibly provide resurrection and life on a mass scale: “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” [v49-50]

CLICK to return to today’s “Daily Breadcrumbs”

[a] Isaiah 7:11

[b] Isaiah 53:6 – See also John 1:29

[c] Daniel 7:13-14 – See also Acts 1:9-11

[d] Isaiah 7:10-14; 9:2,6-7a; Matthew 1:23

[e] John 1:9 – See also John 8:12 and 9:5

[f] Deuteronomy 8:3

[g] John 1:14 – See also John 6:35,48&51

[h] Psalm 23:1 – See also John 10:11

[i] Deuteronomy 32:39

[j] John 11:25

[k] Daniel 7:10

[l] Psalm 9:5; 69:28; 109:13 and Revelation 3:5

[m] Genesis 1:26

[n] Exodus 32:32-33 (See also Exodus 17:14; Deuteronomy 9:14; 29:20; Nehemiah 13:14; Psalm 9:5 etc…)

[o] John 10:40 (See also Matthew 3:13-17 and John 1:26-34)

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