It takes a lot of faith to believe someone who is dead will live again.
Lazarus was not only dead, but stinking. Any hope of healing was gone. Martha said, “if only you were here a few days ago, my brother would still be alive..”
But that’s just it. Sometimes we want God to heal us, heal our situation, fix the problem. But God knows it is impossible to be healed from ‘sin sickness’ without dying first. “Without shedding of blood is no remission (of sins)” (Hebrews 9:22)
For if we were healed without dying first, we could still live on unto ourselves, not having crucified the ‘old man’ of sin. The real problem would remain.
Life lived unto ourselves is no life at all. Jesus replied to Martha, “I AM the resurrection and the Life.” True life, as Adam and Eve experienced before the fall, can only be where sin is absent, and this only happens in Jesus. So when we are resurrected with Christ, it is His life we live, not our own.
“God commended His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
‘Commended’ here means “brought together.” So God brought His love and us together. But since He cannot abide with sin, sinless blood was required for us to be brought together with Him. He shed His own blood to cover our sin, erasing the curse of death that separated us from Him. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Cor 5:19).
But blood can only be transferred where there is an open wound.
In Isaiah chapter 1, the people of Judah were brimming over with sin, filthy, with hands ‘full of blood’ (bloodguiltiness). God described them as full of sores, open wounds, “putrifying sores,” from head to toe. But it isn’t simply the presence of sin that brings His forgiveness; if that were the case, we’d all be saved already without repentance.
In Galatians, where Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ,” the words literally mean “impaled together with Christ,” as if the nails and sword that pierced Him pierced us too in the same thrust. This requires something of us. Something voluntary. It isn’t just the sickness of our open wounds that readies us for His blood…it is the voluntary nearness to Jesus in the act of dying to our sins that prompts Him to bring His love to us. “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). And when we are crucified with Him, “mortifying the deeds of the flesh,” the blood shed in His death flows to our open wound, annihilating the poison in our blood, abolishing the bonds of death. Praise God!!
When death occurs, the first thing to decay is the blood. The curse of sin was passed to us through the ‘bloodline’ of Adam. Leviticus 17:11: the life of the flesh is in the blood, and when diseased, that means the death of the flesh is in the blood.
Why is Jesus the only one who could save us? Whereas sickness is spread among man by infected blood, Jesus’ sinless blood is not subject to this. Rather, healing is spread by His blood…a reversal of the curse of sin. This could only happen outside the paternal bloodline of Adam. Jesus, Son of God, was the only one who could conquer sin.
How imperative that we have His blood cover us! There truly is no hope, as Martha felt, otherwise. The disease will not be cured without death to sin…for if sinful man is not killed, he will yet have his reward: ‘the wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23). Our choice is either death now, voluntarily, being crucified with Christ, that we may LIVE with Him…or death later, without hope of resurrection.
What is that hope? David said, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.” Our death (repentance) and burial (baptism in His name) is our step toward Him. It is the “draw nigh to God” part. And because He will not leave us buried in the ground, “He will draw nigh to you.” He brings us to life, not just a cleaner version of our former selves, but NEW, as if the sinful man had never lived!
The mark of this is evident: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16). This happens with Holy Ghost baptism, evidenced by speaking in other tongues (Acts 2).
Because He rose again, so shall we! Not only in this New Birth, but even more to His glory on That Day!
So, what shall we do? Shall we choose to live on in sin, asking again and again for healing, when what we need to do is die? Or shall we choose to die now, and find true life in Jesus?
I choose now! Now is the day of salvation. While it is yet day, let us draw nigh to God with repentant hearts, crucifying the old man, that we may live in Him!
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”