Fbcsreadthruthebible's Blog

Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

The Story Advances

John 11:28-57   2 Chronicles 12-13   Psalm 76

“So from that day on they planned to put him to death” (John 11:53). With the raising of Lazarus, the story of Jesus reaches a critical turning point. He has now, in the eyes of his enemies, become a problem that must be eliminated. In the words of Caiaphas, “it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have a whole nation destroyed” (v.50). And with that, the high priest becomes an unwitting participant in God’s story of resurrection and life. Just as the king of Egypt’s military ambitions have the unintended effect of leading the officers and king of Judah to humble themselves and say, “the Lord is in the right” (2 Chronicles 12:2-6) . . . So it is that today’s readings demonstrate that even evil intentions can be transformed by God in such a way as to unintentionally contribute to God’s good purposes. Or, as the psalmist sings, “Human wrath serves only to praise you” (Psalm 76:10).

“Unbind him, and let him go” (John 11:44). With those words, Jesus set Lazarus free. And, with his words, Caiaphas unknowingly becomes a participant in the extension of that freedom to all who believe (v.51,52). It calls to mind the words of Joseph in Genesis 50, “Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good” (v.20). The story advances. No matter what. Thanks be to God!

“What are we to do?” (John 11:47). Believe (v.45), and thereby intentionally enter the story of resurrection and life? Or keep writing our own stories and only unintentionally participate, all the while remaining bound up and tied down (v.53)? It seems like a simple and obvious choice. And yet . . . May we count ourselves among those who believe. And may we know the joy of being full participants in God’s glorious and advancing story!  

 “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
     — John 11:40

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