In the garden, when God and man walked openly, there was a certain freedom and openness that has never existed since. The serpent eventually deceived man and he believed that God was holding out on some of the good life. They didn’t realize that they were living the good life. The punishment for their disobedience was not only being shut out of the garden but a very specific set of curses. One curse was that these people would die, they would return to the dust that they were created from. So the Bible teaches that all people die as a result of this original act of disobedience.
So many times in church we just teach that Jesus came to forgive sins, and while that is true, it is really only half of the gospel. Jesus also came to reverse the curse. I know it might sound crazy but God’s antidote to death is resurrection. Paul says it this way in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. What God really wants for us is forgiveness and a new life.
So in John 11 we find this crazy story of Jesus’ friend, Lazarus dying. When Lazarus died everyone was emotional including Jesus. To comfort those around Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” But then he didn’t just say it; he also showed it by calling Lazarus from the grave. Yet, he didn’t just show it, he lived it by enduring his own death and raising himself up from the dead.
I think the question to be asking is do we believe it? Jesus fundamentally said the same thing? Do we believe that he is the resurrection and the life? Do we believe that we can have a new life?
I had a cool experience today. I went to a warehouse where a bunch of workers repurpose electronic equipment and anything else they get their hands on. They fix it then they sell it. And they do pretty well financially. So I started thinking about what it means to re-purpose something.
Re-purposing something means to take something and change its reason for being. Think about what your purpose is. What if someone walked up to you and told you that you needed to be re-purposed…That you were not living life according to your purpose.
Every now and then I need this. I need to look at life and ask if I am really living up to my God ordained purpose. If I’m not then life needs to change.
What in your life needs to be re-purposed?
I’ve heard a ton of great stories in life. But what is the greatest story you’ve ever heard? I heard a story one time of a holocaust survivor who survived by hiding under other dead bodies until she could make an escape at the middle of the night. That was a really good story.
Last night I watched “Air Bud”until midnight with my nephew. It’s a movie that an eight-year-old boy would enjoy.
But having never seen the movie, within 10 minutes I was able to predict the future and tell my nephew everything that was going to happen in the movie. I swear he thought I was some kind of super hero. The point is I don’t want to watch predictable movies. I’m not trying to pick on kids movies because most movies are super predictable. Most stories are boring because they don’t speak to me and my life isn’t affected as a result. But good stories are not predictable. Good stories have twists. They end randomly. Something happens that shocks you. Good stories leave you thinking.
But what is a great story? Great stories have a lot of elements as a good story but they do something deeper. They change you as a result. My wife and I watched “Blood Diamond” a few weeks ago. If I ever have the money to buy my wife a bigger and better diamond, I think that movie will change the way I do it. But that movie, even though it was a great story, didn’t change me fundamentally. I’m not a different person because of it.The greatest story ever told brings you to a place where you can’t help but live differently as a result of hearing. The greatest story ever-told highlights redemption. The greatest story moves you to a place in life where you can’t help but keep telling it.