Sermon by Kenny Foster, Senior Pastor, from Isaiah 26:19-21 & John 11:30-44
This Sunday we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. We celebrate Christ’s resurrection as the end of death. The story of Jesus raising Lazarus foreshadows Jesus’ own resurrection that will follow in a few days. The resurrection of Jesus should cause us to exclaim with the Jews, “See how he loved him!” For the resurrection of Christ and his people is the demonstration of the other side of God’s love, which is his anger. The exclamation comes as the people witness Jesus’ anger in the occasion of Lazarus’s death. But it is not something new about the Lord, since he has always been angry at death.
Do you consider the anger of God as an indication of how much God loves you? The crowd certainly did! The anger of God shows us what it is that the Lord values most. If Christ was angry enough to raise the dead, then what is it that he really values?
Our Old Testament reading helps us to understand this more as the declaration of “Your dead shall live; their bodies will rise” comes in the context of the Lord’s zealous judgment for his people. It is because of the other side of God’s love, the Lord’s anger, that he goes about setting things right. The resurrection of Christ from the dead is the action God takes to bring about justice for his people. This is the outcome of the gospel applied to the hearts of God’s people. In the anger of God we see how much God loves us by ending the enemy of death. Therefore we should celebrate Christ’s resurrection as we see the reason, right use of, and the redemption of anger that leads to the death of death.