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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Day 174: John 11:45-57 & Psalm 32 - Why Plot to Kill Someone Who Can Raise the Dead?

Today's Reading: John 11:45-57 & Psalm 32

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Why Plot to Kill Someone Who Can Raise the Dead?

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done . . . So from that day on they made plans to put him to death. - John 11:45-46, 53

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead in the presence of many eye-witnesses. Many of these eye-witnesses who had seen this miracle believed in Him, but some of them decided that this miracle made Jesus a threat. Imagine seeing a man raise someone from the dead who had been in the tomb for four days and responding to such a great miracle by telling His enemies so that they could plot to put Him to death! What would have to go through someone's mind in order to lead them down such a course of action?

The truth is that many people are threatened by Jesus. Many people know that Jesus is the Son of God and that forgiveness of sins and eternal life can only be found in Him. Many understand that He did great miracles in the presence of eye-witnesses, that He died on a cross at the hands of Romans executioners and that He rose again from the dead, seen by many. They know that Christianity is not a hoax and must be grounded in true historical events, and yet they still deny Jesus, claim that it's all a hoax and refuse to trust in Him. Why? Why are people so threatened by this man?

People are threatened by Jesus because He is someone they cannot control who has the right to call them to follow Him. In other words, if Jesus really is the Son of God and King of kings, then our lives are no longer our own. We belong to Him, and we owe Him our worship and allegiance. This is the ultimate threat to self-reliance, self-determination and self-satisfaction. 

The only way we will ever let go of our self-ruled lives and embrace this ultimate threat as our salvation is if God's grace changes us from the inside out. This requires as great a miracle as it took to call Lazarus back from the dead, for we must be called away from our ultimate allegiance to ourselves and into saving faith in Jesus Christ alone. The good news is that the same voice that called Lazarus from the dead can call our souls from the death of self to eternal life in Christ.

Prayer Based on Psalm 32:

Oh, Lord, how greatly You have blessed those whose transgressions is forgiven,
    whose sin is covered.
How greatly blessed am I, that You should count no iniquity against me,
    and that You should free my soul from self-deceit.

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
    my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

I acknowledged my sin to You,
    and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
    and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Therefore let everyone who is godly
    offer prayer to You at a time when You may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
    they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me;
    You preserve me from trouble;
    You surround me with shouts of deliverance.

Many are the sorrows of the wicked,
    but Your steadfast love surrounds those who trust in You.
Let us be glad in You, LORD, and rejoice, for You have made us righteous;
   and let us shout for joy, for You have made us upright in heart by Your grace!

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