|Time Of Christ: To Live
Daily Devotions: by Christina Farris
To give up the body is to be no longer present with the body. An Indian man taking a life of a deer believes that the spirit of the deer needs time to depart before he begins to prepare the deer for butchering for meat. Believing the very life breath is the spirit and so in scripture the breath of life in man is his spirit according to Genesis 2 when God breathed into manís nostrilís, he became a living soul. All creature would have a soul by breath of God. A fire man rescues a little girls kitten only to discover no life within the kitten and so he begins a little CPR to bring it back to life. An with a few minutes and with a little luck life stirs again in the kitten. The fireman is then able to hand that rescue kitten to the little girl, with hopes it might make it for a little while.
No one argues the spirit of man leaves the body and goes back into the atmosphere. Yet is there more to the spirit then just a breath of air. When the body dies the soul is said to go to heaven or to hell. At one time it went to a place called purgatory. A place to pay for sin. Purgatory is done away with. And only heaven and hell remains. Just like one day hell will be destroyed and the only thing left is eternal lake of fire. To be absent from the body is said to present with the Lord. Yet the lost is judged and sent to hell. The righteous no longer judged but still faces the throne of God with Christ as intercessor and Lord.
Martha begins speaking to Jesus about the resurrection on the side of faith before Christ died for our sins. The side where people could be still punished for sin. Yet those that died in faith knew that blessings of sin not imputed against them by Godís grace. God grace sufficient always for a righteous man to what point. Christ came to put away the sacrificial law of the lamb offering. Jesus was the sacrificial Lamb that was slain, the one sacrifice for the entire world. No more offering for sin once Christ died, but Martha is speaking on this side of the resurrection.
Jesus is asking if she understood that Lazarus was with God and if she understood he would be in the resurrection. Martha understanding these things, but still wanted to know why Jesus was not there before her brother died. The heart of the grief when one looses a loved one. The selfish desire of us still wanting the one we lost to still be with us. Yet we still grieve for the loss of life. Ever go to a funeral where people are not believers, the lost of the family is great. The grief is so much different then the hallelujah party for the saints of God. Knowing some is with God and knowing someone is facing judgment is a huge difference in life. No one wants to think of death and going to hell, but unless one believes in Jesus, then salvation is not secure. In truth God does have mercy on who he will have mercy even to the harden heart of Pharaoh. Yet to know without assurance without faith is to not to know of Godís salvation. Salvation is only promised to those that believe. Not to those that do not believe. Security comes with faith.
Lazarus resurrection is only mentioned in John Gospel and not the other three. Perhaps because of the stir that was caused before Jesus own death is reason it not mentioned. Lazareth resurrection would instill the hope of the resurrection with the cross. I can not imagine on the day of resurrection the ladies going to the tomb had not the hope of seeing Jesus raised. After all Lazarus had been raised a week before. Was all hope gone from these woman. The hope of a resurrection to come had to be there. After all the holy men of old had been raised up. Yet Christ still laid in the tomb.
When one looks at all the events of those two weeks, one can understand why only Mary remained at the tomb looking for Jesusí body and others were running ahead to tell the disciples Jesus is risen. One person had to be a little slower then the others in realizing hope had come. Lazarus resurrection prepared the woman for the coming hope, but the hope was already there in MarthaĎs heart. She understood that when she died she would be with God. The woman with the answers of the resurrection was the same woman that was angry because Mary would not help serve with supper. Mary needing more time to completely understand what Jesus was saying, even with demonstration of her own brotherís resurrection. Martha a smart woman gathering all the knowledge and comprehension to be able to serve her Lord. Yet when it came to her desire of having her brother healed before his death, she grieved, even with knowing the hope. She still was angry. She still blamed Jesus for not being there on time. Jesus wept and yet Jesus would go to the tomb and raise Lazarus up for no else but at the very least Martha who was angry.
God desires to give his children what they desire, but in truth few resurrections today take place beyond the spiritual world. Beyond the resuscitation in the hospital or rescue squad. The fact is few resurrections happen perhaps because the saints have the hope of eternal life. To be absent from a believer is only temporary. God Ďs plan is great for you then just the grave of the loved one that has past. Yet our longing for that person to be returned hurts much more. Nothing wrong with grief, even Jesus wept. Yet Lazarus was with Jesusí Father and it be only a week absent before He seen him again and then forty days after that. Yet knowing Jesus full of compassion still raised Lazarus up for his sisters.
With every death there is a reason, yet often the reason is unclear. Some find that another was coming not to take that person place but to fill the spot for a time. I had a little boy ask if it was wrong to ask God to find his puppy. Yet it had been weeks since the puppy had been gone. I knew the puppy was not going to return. Yet another came to take its place for a time. That dog never could take the hole of the puppy lost, but the dog filled a hole in the heart of the boy. The boy stilled talked of his puppy, but he learned he could love another dog. It is so true in life we loose and we learn to love others anyway. Those others never taking the place of the ones we loose, but another can fill the void of the absence for a time.
The absence of Christ physical presents would soon be gone from the women and men, but it was for the Holy Spirit to come and fill the heart of every believer. Even though Godís Spirit was present during Christ ministry, Godís Spirit was the promise to all believers. Looking back at Jewish history the knowledge of Godís Spirit always exist. The obedience to the Spirit always exist. Yet the reminder Jesus gave his disciple was of the gift of the Spirit to the believer. Yet to those that hear the voice of God and refuse to listen to Godís Spirit, the Spirit is not always promised to reside or to speak them. A time will come where the heart may no longer hear the calling of God on their life.
One must deviate between now and then and here and later in Godís word. To know those that pass away are with the Lord, is the hope of every believer and in truth it is only something God can convince a believer of. Something my own waywardness taught was the wooing of the Spirit to the sinner. I was young when I got saved and it something one at that age fully does not grasp, because as a child hopefully you come to Jesus because of His love for you and not so much out of fear. Fear comes when one mess up and remains in that condition. Godís wrath comes to the backslider as a warning to get inline with the word of God. Though Godís correction was always in my life, I could not always hear what God was trying to say because of my own hardness of heart.
Dear Heavenly Father thank you for the plan you have for each of your children. Comfort those grieving today and those seeing now a bigger picture that your plan and way is best. Thank you for your compassion on us. In Jesus precious name, Amen.