By Pastor Royston Smith
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; The old has gone, the new is here.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
The story of Jesus raising Lazarus is well known in scriptures. In the minds of many, a resurrection was an impossibility(especially if the person had been dead four days). Raising Lazarus from the dead effectively made Jesus a hated target amongst his adversaries. He was challenging the then accepted views. Jesus’s presence was transformational and revolutionary.
In the Gospel of John chapter 11:43-44, the beloved Apostle wrote:
“And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, loose him, and let him go.”
Many people believed that Jesus should only hang out with religious people. That his relationships were for the righteous and prayerful-the holy folk. This is so unlike him. He does not judge us by our profession, reputation or what others say about us. He looks at our potential in Him, who we can become under His influence. The story of Zacchaeus gives evidence of this reality.
When we need something that no ordinary person can give, Jesus supplies his transformative presence. He willingly and happily broke cultural norms to rescue a repugnant tax collector. Jesus stopped, looked up in a tree. He called Zacchaeus by name. Can you image what was going through the mind of Zacchaeus when his eyes met Jesus? He expected Jesus to talk about his reputation. Instead, he invited himself to Zaccheus’s house (Luke 19: 1-10). After that one encounter with Jesus, Zacchaeus was never the same.
Jesus continued to interact with people who were bound by sin and circumstances. Those who were lonely, depressed, beaten, isolated and ostracized. He cares for people who are stained and messy. Jesus makes the time to speak life into their situation regardless of the current state or condition.
Being disconsolate and dismayed is natural at times yet if allowed to overtake us, can lead to great uncertainty. Worrying and becoming depressed about a seemingly unanswered request will change nothing. Patiently, looking to Jesus brings peace. When he shows up, things happen.
The Psalmist said, in Psalm 107: 6, 14:
“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress… He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.”
Once God shows up things can’t remain the same. Hope is restored. Light appears. In the beginning, there was nothing… God showed up… the nothingness was traded for something great. He wants desperately to do the same in our lives.
We are reminded in Luke 12: 7:
“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
God cares about us he knows our fears, challenges and victories. Jesus will show up if you invite him. His love is unconditional. There’s no need to worry, just ask Jesus to show up. He cares.