When Jesus entered Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday, riding on a young ass, the crowds were going wild with joy at the prospect of this being the day when the yoke of Rome would be overthrown as certain this event was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. Their hopes were high. Shortly after the entry His celebrity status was raised when the people who had been present at the raising of Lazarus from the dead starting talking this past event up. The crowd was going wild with expectations of the return of Israel’s golden years.
As with any good thing, detractors made their presence known and engaged in conspiracy concerning the specter that, if this was true, Israel may have her glory restored, but they, the religious leaders, would lose their place, their power to instill fear and their respect, for they for the most part had denied their history, their God and His word.
Thus, John sums up the reality of something that is a great tool in developing faith and maintaining the fervor thereof. Here in this verse is one powerful key:
“The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.” John 12:17.
I have reduced the scene to bare bones of it, but a recalling of miracles in life and in the Bible has a way of rekindling the fire of faith. The miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead was compounded in power, as according to verse 9 Lazarus was still walking about with the disciples and actually sitting down to a meal.
Most of us have trunk loads of unanswered prayers and sometimes we fret over them because we want them so much. We can get over fretting if we simply take an inventory of the prayers answered and the miracles worked by the Lord in our life over a period of time. Joyce and I often sit down and make a list of the wonders the Lord has performed in our life, with raising four children and now spoiling the grandchildren. Life is good.
I remarked to our congregation the other evening that if we Christians invested more time in telling the world of the wonder of it all, instead of constantly lambasting people, that they just might get a thirst for the things of the Lord.
Recalling the miracles is a biblical principle reiterated all through the Bible. David taught us in Psalms 145:4, “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.” The point being that the older generation must be about teaching the new or younger generation by declaring the mighty acts of God. I am far past the years of my youth, but I still get a little tired of hearing the rants about the young people and I wonder have they heard about and hopefully witnessed the miracles that surround the normal Christian life. Have the elders with whom they live recounted the times when God really did make the difference. We take so much for granted that we miss great teaching opps by the dozen.
In most churches there are people walking around, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir or simply showing up and joining in the worship with gusto and really praying for the people who are leading. I am willing to bet that many of them have a miraculous story to tell, but in many cases the story is sordid and they are encouraged to keep it to themselves. Thus a miracle from God in their life is placed under a bushel and the story is untold. When salvation delivers you from the pit, it’s a good thing to tell of it, with thankfulness in your heart for so great salvation.
In the early days of my conversion to Christ, the Bible preaching churches in our town majored on what Christ had done for people, was doing for people and what God would do for those who trust Him. Nowadays, you just don’t hear much about it. We want God to make people nice enough to stay sober, except at wedding showers and other super events, but don’t get so religious that you go around broadcasting where He found you.
Here’s the verse again, John 12:17 “The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.”
Jacob Revius wrote the following:
No, it was not the Jews who crucified,
Nor who betrayed You in judgment place,
Nor who, Lord Jesus, spat into Your face,
Nor who with buffets struck You as You died.
No, it was not the soldiers fisted bold
Who lifted up the hammer and nail,
Or raised the cursed cross on Calvary’s hill,
Or, gambling, tossed the dice to win Your robe.
I am the one, O Lord, who brought You there,
I am the heavy cross You had to bear,
I am the rope that bound You to the tree,
The whip, the nail, the hammer, and the spear,
The blood-stained crown of thorns You had to wear:
It was my sin, alas, it was for me.
Copyright © 2014 Larry Lilly
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