Sermon:  Coming out of Hiding

Summary:  Jesus is passionate about defeating death and being both the resurrection 
and life for those who come to him in faith.  He acts on our behalf so that we would 
have the opportunity to believe in him and his death on the cross and have life, courage, 
and triumph, rather than death, despair, and defeat.    Our response should be to walk 
boldly in our faith even if it means danger, rather than retreating to the darkness.

Know:  Jesus does not want us to hide our faith in fear, but to live courageously and 

Feel:  Courage in demonstrating in sharing our faith

Do:  Take inventory of actions and underlying attitudes when it comes to demonstrating 
or sharing Christian faith, values, and lifestyle among unbelievers.  Make a commitment 
to be courageous and triumphant in faith.

Text:  John 11:1-54

Scripture Reading:  Mt 10:26-31

1.  Read incredible story about Janez Rus, a young shoemaker
	a.  Went into hiding in Nazi Germany for fear of his life in June 1945 at his 
	     sister's farmhouse
		- Never showed himself
		- Did not even go to his mother's funeral
	b.  Discovered by sister who brought him a large supply of bread in 1967
	c.  Told reporters - Through all these years, I did nothing
		- Only look through window down the valley toward village
		- Would cry when hear happy voices outside
		- "I am so happy this happened, if I was not discovered, I would 
		   have remained in hiding"
	d.  Fear of death so great, he robbed him of years of his life
2.  Death is the ultimate defeat
	a.  We do so much to prolong life as much as possible
	b.  At best, we can tack on a few years, but that is all
	c.  We don't like to talk about death, we often avoid the topic
3.  But Jesus didn't

I.  (11:1-32)  Jesus deals with Death
	A.  Lazarus was terminally ill
		1.  v.5 - Martha, her sister, and Lazarus were dear to him
		2.  So he stayed two days longer???  Why?
			a.  Maybe he was afraid - They try to kill him in Judea
			b.  v.8 - Disciples thought he should stay out of Judea
			c.  Stayed two days longer because he loved them?
	B.  Jesus was not afraid
		1.  v.8-10 - If walk in light of day, not stumble
			a.  v.10 - Sneak around at night, you stumble
			b.  Jesus walking in the light, in God's mission
			c.  No reason to cower and hide
		2.  Lazarus "fell asleep"
			a.  Disciples thought this literal - He will get better, sleep is 
			b.  To Jesus, death is like sleep
			c.  Lazarus was dead
			d.  v.15 - Jesus was glad he was not there????
		3.  Thomas
			a.  Not afraid, so said, "let us go die with him"
			b.  Knew that threat of death loomed over them in Judea
			c.  He was courageous, but not triumphant
			d.  He had defeatist attitude???
		4.  But Jesus said he is the bread of life, not death!
			a.  He is source of living water
			b.  He has the light of life!
	C.  (11:17-32) - Jesus is the resurrection and life
		1.  Martha believed in the resurrection in the future
		2.  Jesus didn't just say he is the resurrection
			a.  He is the resurrection (happen at future)
			b.  He is the life (starts right now)
		3.  Martha and Mary thinking -- If only Jesus had been here earlier
	D.  Lazarus is dead, what can be done now?

II.  (11:33-44) - Jesus is Passionate about life
	A.  Jesus is "deeply moved" in v.33 and v.38
		1.  Get idea Jesus is moved to tears of sorrow
			a.  Everyone is crying and weeping
				-  Literally, it they are "wailing"
				-  We not used to this in our culture
			b.  They pour out their grief of their tragedy
			c.  Jesus is "deeply moved" in his spirit
		2.  "Deeply moved within" is embrimaomai
			a.  Originally meant "snort" as in a horse snorting
			b.  Word that expresses indignation, even anger
			c.  Sometimes means to scold, to censure, to act indignantly
		3.  So, Jesus is deeply moved in indignation
			a.  His tears are tears of anger
			b.  He is moved with indignation to the pit of his being
			c.  His tears are different than the people around him
				- The word for his weeping is not wailing
				- It simply means, "to shed tears"
			d.  These are tears of indignation  
	B.  What could cause this reaction with Jesus?
		1.  Jesus is seeing the work of his enemy.  Who?
			a.  I Cor 15:26 - The last enemy to be destroyed is death
			b.  Death has wreaked havoc 
				- Not happiness but sorrow
				- Not joy, but despondency
				- Not triumph, but defeat
		2.  Death is the ultimate defeat
			a.  For all our human ingenuity, we cannot rise above it
			b.  Left to ourselves, we all die
			c.  All we have accomplished will be forgotten
		3.  Nowdays, people try to sanitize it, even deny it to some extent
			a.  People often not die at home
			b.  Process taken over by hospitals, morticians, hospices
				- Removed from life as much as possible
				- Not want to think about death
			c.  Use euphemisms, "Randall 'passed away'
			d.  Build beautiful coffins, cemeteries, to dress it up
				- Cemetery, place of death, like a lush garden
				- Try tone down the offensiveness of death
		4.  But death still comes
			a.  Nothing humanly possible to avoid it
			b.  So, we put up memorials
				-  Don't want to forget, or be forgotten
				-  Want to live on in memories of people
	C.  ILL:  Graveyard in the Alvord Area
		1.  A guy was removing brush on his acreage
		2.  Discovered tombstone, then another, it was a cemetery!
			a.  Discovered about 60 or so graves
			b.  Latest grave dated in 1952.
		3.  They are dead and forgotten, they try to locate relatives
		4.  Is this what God intended?
			a.  We say "Death is a normal part of life."
			b.  Is that true, is death normal?
			c.  God is a God of life, not death
	D.  Jesus is walking among tombs
		1.  Sees people crying, defeated, in despair, at mercy of enemy
		2.  Jesus is indignant, offended, angry to the core of his being
			a.  This is not the world God intended
			b.  Death is not "normal."
			c.  He loathes death
		3.  Comes to the tomb, squares off with death face to face
			a.  He is going to rip Lazarus from death's clutches
			b.  This wasn't just for Lazarus
				- v.42 - For the benefit of the crowd there
				- They will see sign that he is resurrection and life
			c.  Shows that can grant life NOW, not just future
			d.  Calls Lazarus' name - "Lazarus, come forth"
				- You know why?
				- If said, "come forth," all the dead would!
		4.  Imagine the scene as Lazarus appears
			a.  He has to hop to the entrance
				- Wrapped from head to toe in burial clothes
				- Cannot move, has to hop
				- Cannot see, face is covered
			b.  Jesus said, "unbind him and let him go!"
				- He will walk about and live again
				- He will be able to see 
				- Lazarus is free from the tomb!
			c.  Jesus demonstrates he is the resurrection and life
				- Nothing humanly possible to avoid death
				- But Jesus has power and authority over it!
			d.  SO…how should we respond?

III.  Lesson for us - Respond in Faith
	A.  Text always says that there was a division
		1.  No one can remain neutral to Christ
		2.  You either accept him or not accept him
		3.  If believe in him, we have life abundantly
	B.  Two examples of reactions to Jesus in this text (v.45-54)
		1.  v.45 - Belief  
			a.  Some believed in Him
			b.  There was a great risk involved with this
			c.  There were those trying to squash him and his followers
		2.  v.47f - Chief Priests and Pharisees' concern:
			a.  v.48 - Worried about losing their nation to Romans
				- A Messiah or king sound like a rebellion
				- If can't keep order, will exile the rulers
				- May crush the country, make an example
			b.  v.49 - So Caiphas wanted to kill Jesus
				- Even if can't do it justly, doesn't matter
				- Better to kill one man for sake of the nation
			c.  Irony
				- Jesus would die, but not in the way Caiphas meant
				- Rome would come and take away their place, even 
				  though they had Jesus put to death
				- This was part of God's plan, he would use their 
				   rebellion for their salvation
			d.   Jews were more concerned about the status quo
				- If Jesus was Messiah, should follow him
				- More worried about persecution and backlash
				- So, lets get rid of this Jesus
		3.  Part of what kept them from faith is fear!
	C.  ILL:  Two men encountered a bear in forest
		1.  One said, "Don't run, just look it in the eye.  I read book that say 
		      if you stand your ground and look in eye, will not hurt you
		2.  Other man said, "You have read the book, I have read the book, 
		     but has that bear read the book?"
			a.  Wanted to run
			b.  If he had, would have been attacked
		3.  Earl J. Fleming Alaska state biologist
			a.  Only man to objectively study bear's reputation for 
			     attacking humans
			b.  When encounter bear, neither ran nor shot
			c.  At end of study, encountered 81 Brown Bears
			d.  Some staged mock charges, but none attacked
		4.  Jesus has defeated the bear - cannot hurt you unless you run
	D.  Never let fear keep you from living out your faith
		1.  Jesus would later say that the time has come - 17:1
		2.  He walked courageously in faith toward the cross
		3.  He wants us to have the same courage
		4.  Through him, death no longer has power over us

1.  Lazarus would die someday (again)
	a.  I wonder how his life changed after this?
	b.  How much confidence and courage in the face of danger or death?
	c.  Did he hide and keep his faith out of sight?
	d.  I doubt it - He comes out boldly
		- In next chapter Lazarus is out in the open feasting
		- Threat of death hanging over his head
		- No indication he is cowering away
2.  There is nothing to fear
	a.  Don't need to cower in the dark
	b.  Come out into his light
	c.  No one can take away the life he has given to us
	d.  Even if someone kills us, that does not even take away life
3.  Do you life from Jesus?  (inv)
4.  If you do, then do not live in fear
	a.  Share your faith, share the Gospel
	b.  Remember the passion of Jesus about life
		- He confronted death head on
		- He wants us to confront with the Gospel
	c.  Jesus does not want us to hide our faith in fear, but to live 
	      courageously and triumphantly
5.  Scrip Reading:  Mt 10:26-31