Most of us know the story of Jesus’ friend Lazarus. Basically, Lazarus died. He was dead and buried and beginning to decompose when Jesus arrived on the scene and raised him from the dead. For me this is the most spectacular of all Jesus’ miracles. It is all chronicled in John 11.
Interestingly, being raised from the dead is not the end of the story for Lazarus. We see in John 12 that because of Jesus’ interaction with Lazarus, he was now being noticed. John 12:9 records that that the same folks desiring to kill Jesus now want to take Lazarus out also. Can you imagine? Jesus brings you back from the dead and now there is a hit out on you.
The more I meditated on this story the more it hit home to me that this world isn’t always safe when you fly the banner of the kingdom. We are fortunate that living in America we are for the most part able to worship and spread the gospel without fear of a reprisal or violence. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for all Christians. I read a sad article (check it out here) today about Christians that are being targeted for assignation in India. The article said that one could receive up to $250 for killing a pastor. Now more than ever we need to pray for our brothers and sisters in foreign lands that risk their lives to share the good news about our King.
So what’s the take away? For me it’s realizing that we are all kind of like Lazarus. We were dead and rotting and now Jesus has called us forth to be alive, and if Lazarus wasn’t safe, and the Apostle Paul wasn’t safe, and Stephen wasn’t safe, and Dietrich Bonheoffer wasn’t safe, and Rachael Scott in Columbine wasn’t safe, and these Christians in India are not safe, and countless other martyrs who have paid the ultimate price to follow Jesus weren’t safe, then why should I be? Have I become too comfortable? I posted earlier that the reason I vote is because Americans have given sacrificed so that I may exercise that liberty. How much more valuable is the blood of Jesus? What is our response to that sacrifice?
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to not be persecuted; I just hope if the time ever comes I will be ready to give it all. Just like Jesus did.
Grace and Peace.