Jesus said to Mary,
I am the resurrection and the life, He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?
(John 11:25-26, NIV)
The sisters Martha and Mary had sent word to Jesus that their brother Lazarus was sick. They wanted Jesus to come immediately and heal their brother. The Bible says when Jesus arrived at the home of Martha and Mary Lazarus had already been dead for four days. Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21, NIV). To comfort her Jesus said, “Your brother will rise again” (John 11:23, NIV). Martha did not have a full understanding of what Jesus meant. The Bible says, Jesus went to Lazarus’s tomb and called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out”!” The dead man came out … (John 11:43-44, NIV).
Sooner or later every one of us will die physically. But there is good news! JESUS IS THE AUTHOR OF THE RESURRECTION. HE ALONE CAN RAISE THOSE WHO ARE PHYSICALLY DEAD.
What did Jesus mean when He said to Martha, He who believes in me will live, even though he dies? He was thinking about the death of sin. Even in the world that we live in today, the reign of the Messiah has already begun. Jesus asked Martha, Do you believe this (John 11:26b, NIV)? And you, do you believe it?
The Apostle Paul says, … As for you, you were dead in your … sins, which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world … because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, (makes us alive spiritually) … (Read Ephesians 2:1 & 4, NIV).
William Barclay tells us the story of a man whose name was Tokichi. He was a murderer of men, women, and children. Anyone who stood in his way was pitilessly eliminated. He was in prison awaiting death. When some women tried to talk to him through the bars. He only stared at them, like he was a caged and savage animal. Finally, they gave up their attempt to speak to him; but they gave him a Bible. He began to read it, and having started, Tokichi could not stop. He came to the words Jesus said on the Cross: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.Those words broke him. “I stopped,” he said. “I was stabbed to the heart as if I had been pierced by a five-inch nail. Shall I call it the love of Christ? Shall I call it His compassion? I do not know what to call it. I only know that I believed, and my hardness of heart was changed.” Later, when the jailer came to lead the doomed man to the scaffold, the jailer found a smiling radiant man. The murderer had been born again. Literally, Christ brought Tokichi to life.
THE CHANGE IN HIS LIFE OF TOKICHI IS A REMINDER THAT EVEN
THE HARDENED HEART OF A MAN CAN BE CHANGED BY THE LOVE OF GOD.
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