From The Pastor

Pastor's Desk
A place for our Senior Pastor, Matt Gregory, and our Care Pastor, Allen Dickerson, to share their thoughts and prayers.

Pre-Resurrection Thoughts

I'm sorry, even though it is post-Easter, I'm not quite finished with resurrection stories. Just in case, you're that one in a trillion who gets tired of resurrection stories, today's thought is actually a pre-resurrection story.

I'll let you read the whole story for yourself from John 11.

One of my favorite sections of this story starts in verse 33:
When Jesus saw her [Mary] weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. "Where have you put him [Lazarus, who had died]?" He asked them.
They told him, "Lord, come and see." Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, "See how much he loved him!"

Jesus knew in just a few minutes He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. He knew this funeral was getting ready to turn into the greatest reunion ever. Still, in this moment...He was angry, deeply troubled, and weeping.

Why was Jesus upset? This Creator who had entered His own perfect creation as one of us, was letting us know how He feels about the pain and turmoil of death that dominates our fallen world. Even though He knew He had the power to restore all things to their perfect created state, He was angered and hurt deeply by the devastation of death.

And if Jesus can be angered and hurt by death, knowing He will shortly reverse its effects, then it's ok for me to be bothered, scared, and broken regarding the dying whom I encounter.

This world was never supposed to be this way. God created a perfect world. Since whatever God takes His hand off of, starts to die, when every human being chose to separate from God's design and go his/her own way pain, sickness, and death awaits us all.

We avoid talking about death. We act like we will live forever. But deep down, we are forever plagued with nagging fears about death. When we go to funerals, we try to suck it up, and not get too emotional. But we hurt: "Why did he have to die so young?" We get angry: "It doesn't seem fair for that to happen to her." We worry: "When will my time come?"

We were originally created to live forever without ever dying. These emotions are the natural reactions that an eternal being should have. We were supposed to have perfect fellowship with God with no knowledge ever of a broken relationship. We were never supposed to know pain. Yet we do, and even the most irreligious of us screams out: "This world is a broken mess!"

Jesus has those same emotions at every funeral. I love that about Him. He feels the same way we feel about the state of things in this world. Jesus came into His world to restore it and everyone who believes in Him to its original state. Before this funeral, Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying" (John 11:25). I really love that about Him.

--Matt Gregory (Lead Pastor @ Soul Purpose Community Church)


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