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Responding to the Power of Resurrection

Responding to the Power of Resurrection
Words of Faith 12-23-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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John 11
[45] Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. [46] But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. [47] Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.
"What are we accomplishing?" they asked. "Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. [48] If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."
[49] Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, "You know nothing at all! [50] You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish."
[51] He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, [52] and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. [53] So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

What was the response of those who saw the raw resurrection power of God? What happened when God intervened dramatically to bring life where there was death?
In the case of Lazarus we see two responses among those who witnessed the miracle. The miracle was undeniable but the interpretation and response was quite different.
One group of witnesses believed and put their faith in Jesus. This was more than just agreement to the facts. These people interpreted the miracle of Lazarus as the final pin in God’s revelation that Jesus was His Son, the Christ of God. They felt there was no choice but to place their whole trust in Him.
While the other group could not deny the fact of Lazarus’ resurrection, they interpreted it quite differently and reported it promptly to Jesus’ enemies. Perhaps they saw Jesus as some kind of a threat or destabilizing force. They may have thought they had something to gain by the betrayal. Either way, these people looked into the face of raw resurrection power and turned away.
One group surrendered to the power while the other resisted it. One group found hope in the power of God while the other feared it. One group was transformed by the power but the other group entered into a power struggle.
One result of the Lazarus event was a remarkable revival. A second result was a meeting of the Sanhedrin, the highest ruling council in Judaism. This group was deeply worried over Jesus’ growing popularity and power. This was not a “surrender” group.
The talk of a messiah was disruptive to their relationship with Rome and their business interests. The wealthy priests had a cozy relationship with Rome, which allowed them to profit from the religious concessions in the Temple. Under the guise of protecting the “peace with Rome” Caiaphas was prepared to sacrifice one Jew in order to keep the status quo.
Little did he know just how prophetic his words would be as one would indeed be sacrificed for the many. Now the plot to take the life of Jesus would go into full gear.
So how do we respond to the raw resurrection power of God? How do we respond when God does something remarkable? Modern responses are often similar. Some put their whole faith and trust in Jesus while others cling to control. Some are exhilarated by the gift of life where there was death but others are caught in boxes that keep them from seeing God at work.
As people of faith, we have the same choices as those in Bethany who saw Lazarus raised. Either we can see the hand of God at work and trust Him as Messiah or we can suspiciously question the things we do not understand and label them as outside of our religious parameters.

Lord, give me eyes to see You at work. Give me ears to hear Your voice. Give me a heart to trust You with my whole being as You bring Life where once there was death. In Jesus’ name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.