In John 11, Jesus calls Lazarus out of a tomb, raising him from death to life and inviting the bystanders to participate – freeing Lazarus from his grave clothes so that he could put on new life. This miraculous sign caused the religious leaders to start plotting to kill Jesus. Their focus is completely misplaced. They’re placing ultimate value on the way they do things, and they’re worried about someone else being in power over them. Their focus has shifted away from God. In a similar way, we often fall into the trap of thinking that one political party or the other has to be in control in order for the issues we care about to gain traction. Here’s the thing. Jesus chose for his disciples people like Simon the Zealot and Matthew the tax collector, who had strong opinions about the way the kingdoms of this world should function. But Jesus came to usher in one kingdom: God’s Kingdom; and at the center of this kingdom is a cross, where Jesus came to die, not only for you or me, but for the world. Of course God cares about the “issues” – God cares about the poor, the widow, the orphan, the outcast, the blind, lame, sick, marginalized. We are called to bring our cares about “issues” to the cross first; to lay them down there, to behold the man on the cross, to listen for the Holy Spirit’s direction, and then to get up and go. When we take the issues we’re concerned about and behold Christ and the cross, the issue is addressed, Christ is glorified, and we humanize those who disagree with us. That’s what happens to us in light of the cross. All of our issues are dealt with and there is no longer a case against us. Christ is glorified and we are humanized and given a place to stand with confidence. This may be the greatest opportunity that we’ve had as the body of Chris to demonstrate to the world that this Kingdom is distinct. Behold the Man.
- John 11:45 - 53
- John 19:1 - 16