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Jesus and the Mummy (3 of 4)
Series: Bible Halloween
INTRODUCTION: An archaeologist digging in the Negev Desert in Israel came upon a sarcophagus containing a mummy. He called the curator of a prestigious museum. "I've just discovered the 3,000-year-old mummy of a man who died of heart failure!" the excited archaeologist exclaimed. The curator replied, "Bring him in. We'll check it out." A week later, the amazed curator called the archaeologist. "You were right about the mummy's age and cause of death. How in the world did you know?" "Easy," the archaeologist replied, "there was a piece of paper in his hand that read, '10,000 shekels on Goliath.'"
Today I want to talk about a mummy, but not a dead one with a piece of paper in his hand. I want to talk about a real mummy, wrapped in strips of linen, which came back to life because of an encounter with Jesus. Of course, I'm talking about the account of the raising of Lazarus from the dead recorded in John chapter 11. In that chapter it is recorded that Lazarus became sick, his sisters sent a message to Jesus to come quickly, Lazarus died, and when Jesus arrived he raised Lazarus from the grave, still wearing his grave clothes. This is a mummy with a message for all of us about God's victory over death. God is victorious over death and the resurrection of Lazarus illustrates that in several ways. This morning we'll consider two of those ways and next week we'll look at three more.
I. THE MUMMY REVEALS GOD'S DETERMINATION TO HAVE VICTORY OVER DEATH
John 11:4 "When he heard this, Jesus said, 'This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it.'"
This statement of Jesus is intriguing because Lazarus was already dead when he said it. Since Lazarus was already dead when Jesus received this message why did he say, "this sickness will not end in death"? Jesus said that because he knew that he was going to RESURRECT Lazarus. He knew that he was shortly to reverse the lethal effect of this disease so that death would not have the final say. He was going to NEUTRALIZE the finality of death in Lazarus' particular case. And because this sickness was not going to end in death it was a sickness through which God and Jesus would be glorified. Later, when Jesus announced to his disciples that they were going back to Judea to resurrect Lazarus they tried to talk him out of it because of the danger - but Jesus would not be dissuaded. Jesus was DETERMINED to raise Lazarus from the dead.
God is determined to have victory over death. He is determined that our suffering not END in death - and has been from the very beginning. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden they brought a curse upon mankind and the world - which is why we suffer and die today. But in the same breath that God pronounced the curse he also pronounced the cure when he said to the serpent:
Genesis 3:15 "The woman's offspring will cru ...
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