What do you think the real problem is?
Repeat after me, I am Lazarus.
No this is not the initiation into a cult or club, it’s a statement about my condition before Jesus.
See many people, even people that go to church every single week, think one of these following statements is their biggest problem:
I am a bad person trying to be good with God’s help.
I am really a good person, I just need a little help from God.
But it’s not, I am Lazarus.
I am Lazarus
In John 11 Jesus friend Lazarus is informed that he is sick and then soon after dies. And not only is he dead, he’s already been dead for four days. So you might say he’s dead-dead.
But then Jesus does something amazing. Read John’s account of what happened,
John 11:43-44 (NIV) When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Jesus brings Lazarus to life. He calls Lazarus out of his grave from death to life.
This is why we need to affirm that we are Lazarus. Because this is the condition we were in before Jesus – dead.
Notice what Lazarus was capable of doing before Jesus entered the scene – NOTHING.
Dead people can’t bring themselves back to life. They are lifeless. Furthermore, they don’t even know they are dead.
This is what Jesus came to do – bring people dead in the sins to life in God.
Not, good bad to better people and not even bad people to good people. DEAD people to alive.
It makes a difference
So why does this even matter?
See good people trying to be better people and bad people trying to be good people don’t really need a savior. There are twelve step programs and self-help books that do that every day.
But to resurrect someone requires a savior of Godly proportion – Jesus.
You need a savior, not a self-improvement. You were Lazarus – dead, tied up, and wrapped in grave clothes. You were lifeless and aware of your mortified condition.
This kind of realization brings you to your knees in gratitude that such a loving, sinless, lifegiving savior would come to your rescue.