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Thursday, 27 October 2011

Day 301: The resurrection and the life

Wow! This is new. Jesus has been talking about dying, but now for the first time he’s talking about going beyond dying.
The unprofitable servant
Luke 17:1-10
The death of Lazarus
John 11:1-16
Jesus the resurrection and the life
John 11:17-27
Jesus weeps
John 11:28-37
The raising of Lazarus
John 11:38-44
The plot against Jesus
John 11:45-53
Jesus goes to Ephraim
John 11:54
The healing of the ten lepers
Luke 17:11-19
The coming of the kingdom of God
Luke 17:20-37

John 11 is a story rich in irony. I’m using irony in its technical sense, to mean where some people in the story don’t know what is going to happen, but we the readers do. I don’t mean that it’s sarcastic.
The people who don’t know what is going on in this story are the disciples (which is pretty normal, for them) Martha and Mary, and later on, Caiaphas the High Priest.
Let’s look at them in turn.
The disciples don’t understand why Jesus delays going to see Lazarus when he gets word that he is ill. Why isn’t he going to help his friend? Well, presumably it’s too dangerous to go south right now. Then suddenly Jesus announces that they are going after all.
Now what?? And what about Lazarus?
He’s asleep.
Oh well that’s good isn’t it? If he sleeps he’ll get better.
No he’s dead.
Well why then are we going south????
Then when they arrive, Martha comes to meet them and says “Where were you?”
Don’t worry - Lazarus will rise form the dead.
Yes - at the last day, along with everyone.
No Martha, now, because I have come. Do you believe in me?
Err...I think so.
Then Mary comes and says again, “Where were you when we needed you?”
they go to the tomb and Jesus tells them to roll away the stone.
But master, it will stink!
Just do it.
And he does.
Finally, Caiaphas, as High Priest, sets the policy of the Jewish leaders against Jesus’ life. “Better to let one man die for the people, that for all to die.” Well Caiaphas, you spoke the truth, but you probably never realised just how well you spoke it.

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