June 22, 2014

Series | Someone to Believe In

Passage | John 11:25-27

Speaker | Dr. Hance Dilbeck

John 11: 25-27


Intro:   I was thinking about funerals this week… (Fran Roy…)

  • The first funeral I conducted… Tell the Story.

            T/s – Point… many give little thought to their funeral/Death.


            This morning, I want you to think about two funerals…

  1. Your Own. (Are you ready to Die?)
  2. The funeral Jesus attended in a suburb of Jerusalem.


John 11


Martha and Mary sent word to Jesus when brother..sick. They knew two things: Jesus loved Lazarus; and He could Help!


They waited… Jesus did not come. Lazarus died, prepared his body, laid in tomb… all the while thinking, “If only Jesus had been here…”


And then, Jesus came… slipped in unannounced from wilderness.

  • Martha
  • Mary and mourners
  • Jesus wept; Prayer and Commanded


Lazarus, still wrapped in the garments of the grave, walked out.


The Seventh Miracle recorded by John… pinnacle of presentation

  • Water to wine; nobleman’s son; lame man; feed 5,000; walk on water; man born blind
  • Sign = miracles with a message


John 11: 25-27


General Theological Message: Jesus is Messiah, Son, Sent

Specific Practical Message:       Jesus Overcomes the Power of Death


At funerals there is almost always one… a look of suspicion … are you a naïve fool; or a religious huckster selling snake oil to desperate people?

A Core Gospel Claim:             Jesus Overcomes the Power of Death


I am the Resurrection and the Life

Exp – Resurrection means “to Rise Again”… Through the Power

            of his Resurrection, Jesus claims authority over Death!

  • He called Lazarus by name so that every person not come!


  • Death as Penalty (paid); Curse (lifted); Enemy (defeated)


            O Death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?

            But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our

            Lord Jesus Christ!


The Bible uses the word “Death” with different shades of meaning:

1)      Spiritual Death – Person Separated from God (Eph. 2)

2)      Physical Death – Soul (essence) Separated from Body.

3)      Eternal Death – Final, Forever Separated from God in Sin.

                                          (2nd Death)


Jesus uses “life” and “death” with these shades of meaning…

            I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will

            Live (spiritual) even if he dies (physical), and everyone who            lives (spiritual) and believes in Me will never die (eternal).


For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life


Jesus Overcomes the Power of Death

Followers of Jesus can Deal with Death.


ILL – Summerset Maugham. “Death is a very dull, dreary affair. We            advice is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it!”     

            Sarcasm… Can’t Avoid Death!


We Try --- Avoid the Word… Expire, Pass Away, Gone…

            No Grave yards… cemeteries and memorial parks


To Live is Christ; To Dies is Gain!


Jesus Overcomes the Power of Death

T/S – We take this for granted, but it sets us apart as followers of Jesus


ILL– Judy Franklin grew up in Zaire, Africa as an Missionary Kid

            She recalls the day long reception of her family by the churches in Zaire --- worship, singing, meals, sermons,   introductions and testimonies… especially the last one.

  • An old man insisted on speaking…
  • First missionaries cam when I was a boy. We did not trust them… strange people, strange language, strange message. Our tribal leaders decided to poison them..
  • Over several months, we witnessed the missionary families dealing with death --- husbands burying wives; parents losing children… we watched them grieve.
  • It was as we watched how they died that we decided to Live as Christians!

Jesus Overcomes the Power of Death


Conclusion      Are you Ready to Die?


You Can be! Key Word in John 11, “Believe” (used seven times)

            Will you Trust Jesus as the Resurrection and Life?

            Will you build your life on this Reality --- Messiah, Son, Sent

            Will you roll the cold, hard stone away from you dead heart             and let Jesus speak life to you?



ILL – The fourth Funeral I ever preached….

            Lila Heinzman. Jan. 5, 1991

  • Laughed me off, “Oh, honey, Oklahoma is heaven on earth to me”
  • Knock on the back door of the parsonage, cancer… Death in matter of months... I need to know for sure that I am ready