Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Lazarus Experiment Day 19


Do you think Lazarus ever got tired of telling his story?

The first week was probably exciting, and I would assume that Laz told anyone willing to listen all about his real-death experience. Scripture makes it sound like word about Lazarus spread quickly, and there were probably loads of people who were gathering to touch "The Man Brought Back From Death." I'm sure Lazarus was asked hundreds of times, "So, how did it feel when you were dead?" and "Did you know right away that it was Jesus calling your name?" and "What was the first thing you wanted to do when you came back to life?" (How do I know that people wanted answers to these questions? WE'RE STILL ASKING!)

I wonder if the thrill wore off. After countless questions about the same thing, and press conferences covering the "Amazing Events at Bethany," and the conspiracy theorists hatching plots about zombies and cannibalism and "The Dead Amongst Us" - I think Laz must have tired of the whole thing. At some point, maybe he just answered every question with "Jesus - it was Jesus."
And then, of course, Jesus himself died. What would that have meant to Lazarus and telling his story? Would he hole up at Bethany and pull into the countryside to hide for fear of the Jewish leadership and the Roman cross? They wanted to kill him, too.

We have fair evidence that Lazarus eventually told his story again. He became a prominent advocate of the gospel - the good news - and was responsible for getting that news out to the world. And who better to do that than Lazarus? He knew first-hand - literally first hand - what it meant that Jesus came to save sinners from the devastating consequences of sin. Eventually, Lazarus stopped worrying about the political correctness of new life in Jesus, stopped being afraid of the consequences, and started opening his big mouth.

To live like Laz - we've got to open our big mouths.

If you know Jesus enough to have tasted the same death-to-life experience, you know the gospel first-hand, too. Your story may be tired and old to you. Or you may not think it's especially exciting or germane. Lazarus may have come to the place where he considered his story old and worn. "You don't want me to tell you that whole thing again, do you? Really?" But I think people genuinely wanted to hear it. I want to hear it!

So to, your story needs to be told.

There's a great old gospel song that starts with this phrase: "Sing them over again to me - wonderful words of life."
This story - the one where Jesus makes you all new - this story never gets old. Tell someone. Tell everyone. God did something great with you, and he deserves the credit.

Suggested Scripture For Today: John 9:1-25

Suggested Ideas:
1. In two or three paragraphs, write your story, then mail it to five people who've never heard it before.
2. Ask someone you know as a Christ-follower to tell you their story. We may know several believers, but we may not have ever heard their story.
3. Arrange to take a meal to your neighbor, or mail a treat to a distant friend.
4. Take one hour to spend with Jesus alone, with the express purpose of thanking him specifically for all the things he did to hunt you down and love you into his family.

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