So the chief priests resolved to murder Lazarus too because through Him many of the Jews also were believing in Jesus. (John 12:10-11)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Lazarus had been sick. They called Jesus. He waited a few days and then left after Lazarus was dead.
You are sick. You may actually be sick physically. You may not feel ill. But you are sick and your sickness is going to end the way it ended for Lazarus. You are going to die.
Your sickness is sin. There is no cure for it in this life. All you can do is manage the symptoms. It will always flair back up again and sooner or later it will have its way with you and you will die.
Jesus arrived too late for the funeral for His friend. He went to the tomb. He called Lazarus by name and told him to come out. And from the tomb, still wrapped in his burial clothes, came Lazarus, alive!
You have been raised from the dead! You were called by name, too! In the baptismal font you were buried with Christ so that just as He was raised from the dead you, too, walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).
The wages of sin is death. There’s no avoiding it. You are going to die. But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus. You have life today. You have a new life, a new name, forgiveness for everything you ever have done or haven’t done. You are saved. You will be saved. It’s as sure as the fact that Jesus died for you on the Cross and rose again.
The chief priests wanted Jesus dead. They wanted Lazarus dead, too. As long as he was walking and talking, he was a reminder of how Jesus saved him. That’s the way the world feels about Jesus’ salvation: they hate it and want to snuff it out.
You, too, are a walking, talking, living witness to the Lent and resurrection of Jesus Christ. You should expect the world to try to do to you the same things that did to Jesus! You will always be mocked for what Jesus did for you. You will be looked down upon and hated for what you believe about Jesus. You might even be martyred for His Name.
Don’t fear. You were dead. Now you are alive in Christ. The most that anyone can do is kill you. Sin will do that someday to you anyway. You are alive in Christ. Confess Jesus. Stay faithful. You will live forever. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, grant that in the midst of our failures and weaknesses we may be restored through the passion and intercession of Your only-begotten Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Holy Monday, LSB)