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The Call of Resurrection

The Call of Resurrection
Words of Faith 12-21-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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John 11
[38] Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. [39] "Take away the stone," he said.
"But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."
[40] Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
[41] So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. [42] I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."
[43] When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" [44] The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

The actual raising of Lazarus was a thrilling moment, a powerful lesson in faith and an image of how we come to life.
The body of Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. Bodies were typically placed in family tombs until the flesh had decayed and then the bones were placed into an ossuary or “bone box” about a year later. No embalming was ever done among Jews because this was an offense to the body and denied the process of returning to the dust from which humans were created.
Any spices applied to the body were simply to mask the smell of decay during the mourning period. Martha’s protest was natural. It was not unusual to reopen a tomb but not until a much later date.
Jesus made a profound statement. "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" We do not come to faith because we have seen the glory of God. We see the glory of God because we have come to faith. Faith comes by hearing and trusting. Jesus had spoken to the disciples and to Martha of His intention to raise Lazarus. It was now time to believe.
Jesus had faith. It may seem strange to think of it that way but Jesus modeled for us the life that trusts wholly in the Father. He thanked the Father in advance for the resurrection and then gave a simple command: “Come out!” The words can also be understood as “Lazarus, this way out!”
We not know precisely the state of consciousness Lazarus was in when he heard these words. Some have suggested that he was with the Father and reluctant to return. Whenever he regained consciousness in this mortal life, Lazarus found himself bound in grave cloths. His face was covered. He would not have been able to see. He needed the direction of Jesus to find his way out of the tomb.
We find ourselves in a similar state. It is the power of God in Jesus that raises us to life. It is the voice of Jesus that calls us to come out from the place of death to the place of life. It is the call of Jesus that directs us out of the darkness. Jesus says, “This way out!” so that we will find our way to the door and to those waiting there.
Have you heard the voice of Jesus? Do you remember His beckoning call for you to come out of the darkness into the light, out of death into life? It is important to understand that Lazarus did not raise himself. He did not “try hard” to restore his body. The resurrection of Lazarus was simply an act of mercy as the call of Jesus brought him out of the grave.

Lord, thank You for the call. Thank You for seeking me in the place of death and calling me to life. Thank You for directing me out of the darkness and into the light. 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.