Friday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Today’s Reading: John 11:17-27, 38-45

Lazarus became ill and his two sisters prayed, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” Jesus loved all three, just as “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). But Jesus delayed and sin’s wages were paid. Lazarus died.

Every sickness is a precursor of death. Each of us has received the sentence of death in his body. One day, you must breathe your last, as Lazarus did. But now, Jesus comes as the One who will soon kill death by His death. He promises to give us never-ending life.

Now that Martha’s brother has died, Christ will outclass the experience of men and medicine. He can give people eternal life.  Jesus is able to do this because He is I AM, true God, present now also as a real man. He asserts, “I AM the Resurrection and the Life” – and there is no other! Then the Lord of life promises everyone who has died like Lazarus, “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” Then He promises those like us and Martha, who are living in the death-shadow, “Everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” His promise has been given to awaken our trust and hope in Him, the crucified and risen Christ, and cling with confidence to Him who alone gives us everlasting life.

Prayer: Christ the life of all the living, Christ the death of death our foe, Who, Thyself for me once giving To the darkest depths of woe; Through Thy suff’rings, death, and merit I eternal life inherit. Thousand, thousand thanks shall be, Dearest Jesus, unto Thee (Christ the Life of All the Living, LSB 420:1).

This devotion was written by Rev. Victor Young – Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lowden.

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