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April 2014 Messenger Newsletter

 

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St. James Lutheran Church
Holy Week & Easter Schedule

- Maundy Thursday Service on April 17th at 7:00 p.m.

- Good Friday Tenebrae Service on April 18th at 7:00 p.m.

- Easter Services will begin with a Sunrise Service at 7:00 a.m. on the front lawn

- Potluck breakfast at in Fellowship Hall at 8:00 a.m.

- Children’s Easter Egg Hunt at 9:00 a.m.

- Easter Service Holy Communion Service at 10:00 a.m.

"I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me will never die"
(John 11:25, 26)

Fifth Sunday in Lent

The Death of Lazarus

John 11:1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
John 11:2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfume and wiped his feet with her hair; her brother Lazarus was ill.
John 11:3 So the sisters sent a message to Jesus, "Lord, he whom you love is ill."
John 11:4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, "This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God's glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."
John 11:5 Accordingly, though Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus,
John 11:6 after having heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
John 11:7 Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again."
John 11:8 The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?"
John 11:9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world.
John 11:10 But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them."
John 11:11 After saying this, he told them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him."
John 11:12 The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right."
John 11:13 Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought that he was referring merely to sleep.
John 11:14 Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead.
John 11:15 For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him."
John 11:16 Thomas, who was called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

I Am the Resurrection and the Life

John 11:17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.
John 11:18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, some two miles away,
John 11:19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother.
John 11:20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home.
John 11:21 Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
John 11:22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him."
John 11:23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
John 11:24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live,
John 11:26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
John 11:27 She said to him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world."

Jesus and Death, the Last Enemy

John 11:28 When she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary, and told her privately, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you."
John 11:29 And when she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him.
John 11:30 Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.
John 11:31 The Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary get up quickly and go out. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
John 11:32 When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
John 11:33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.
John 11:34 He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see."
John 11:35 Jesus began to weep.
John 11:36 So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"
John 11:37 But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"

Lazarus Raised from the Dead

John 11:38 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.
John 11:39
Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days."
John 11:40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
John 11:41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, "Father, I thank you for having heard me.
John 11:42 I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me."
John 11:43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
John 11:44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."

The Plot to Kill Jesus

John 11:45 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.

(John 11:4) As in the case of the man born blind (9:1-3), Jesus' explanation for Lazarus' illness is God's purpose to glorify Himself. The miracle of raising Lazarus is the climactic miracle of the seven sign-miracles. It reveals Christ as the Lord -- the Giver of life, both spiritual and physical.

(John 11:6) Jesus' determination to stay away even though Lazarus needed His aid, and though He was a close friend of the family, reveals that He intends to demonstrate a greater role than that of a healer. The passage shows that Jesus knew the moment of Lazarus' death (divine omniscience, v. 11), and that He would ultimately exhibit divine power (omnipotence) over the last enemy of man, death. These abilities again reveal the deity of Christ, that theme which runs throughout the fourth Gospel.

(John 11:11) The Lord's meaning and the disciples' misunderstanding (that Jesus meant the physical crisis had passed and Lazarus was resting now) are in sharp contrast.

(John 11:17) The Jews believed the spirit hovered over the dead body until the fourth day, when decomposition became evident (v. 39).

(John 11:24) (vv. 24-26) Mary is familiar with the O.T. teaching on the resurrection (see Dan. 12). Jesus' additional revelation (His fifth "I am" statement) concerns His identity as the One who raises the dead, who guarantees that those who believe in Him may die physically, but it will not last forever (John 11:26). Physical death will be openly and finally defeated at the future resurrection. The raising of Lazarus is a foreshadowing of that great event (cf. 1 Cor. 15).

(John 11:33) (vv. 33,34) The word "groaned" indicates a deep-seated agitation, a snorting sound because of His indignation at sin's ravaging effects. The word is sometimes used to describe the snorting of a horse. Verse 34 reveals our Lord's readiness to engage this most powerful enemy of mankind (death) and demonstrates His lordship even over it!

(John 11:35) This shortest verse in the Bible must be understood in its setting. Though it is interpreted by the Jewish spectators as sympathy, Jesus knew He would presently raise Lazarus. He does not weep in this deep-seated, almost inaudible fashion for Lazarus -- that would not harmonize with Jesus' view of death as just stated. He weeps over human unbelief in His ability, as the Resurrection and the Life, to deal with the present problem. As His deity was previously affirmed in this chapter, it is now His humanity which we clearly observe in the shedding of tears.

NSRV & Believer's Study Bible (BSB) Notes

 

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St James Lutheran Church, Sumter SC ELCA Pastor Keith Getz

 

Sunday Worship Services at 10:00am
Sunday School at 9:00am

Wednesday Bible Study (Library) 10:30 am
Holy Communion Service (Sanctuary) Noon

 
1137 Alice Drive • Sumter, South Carolina 29150 • Tel: (803) 773-2260
 
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