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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: June 6, 2024

It’s rather comical, the way the Pharisees and Chief Priests respond to Jesus raising Lazarus from the dread. “If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” Ok, so, everyone will believe in Him? Believe what about Him? That He’s the Son of God? Well, He is the Son of God. He just proved it, by lifting up from the grave a man who’s been dead four days. There’s no ambiguity here, no possible other explanation. Jesus is indeed the Son of God, which means His Father will be on your side if you believe in Him, which means you probably won’t need to worry about the Romans taking away your place and your nation since the Scriptures promise that God will establish His kingdom through His Son.

Ah, but there you have it. The Chief Priests and Pharisees want Jesus dead, not because they don’t want the Romans taking away what they have, but because they don’t want God doing that. “We have our temple, we have our honor, our glory. We’re the leaders of the people. That all goes away if the people draw the very logical conclusion that the guy doing all the stuff only the Son of God can do is the Son of God.”

So our self-righteousness and our hunger for earthly glory make us comically self-righteous. We doubt the existence of God, not because there’s no evidence for His existence, but because we want to keep the sins we know we’ll have to abandon if He does exist. We doubt that Christ truly is risen from the dead not because there’s no reason to believe it, but because believing it will mean having to let go of our anger, our grudges, our hatred if we wish to enter His kingdom. And we’d rather keep our kingdoms of bitterness than gain His kingdom of peace.

So don’t embrace the comical unbelief of the Pharisees and Chief Priests. Embrace the mercy of the One who called Lazarus out of the tomb. The kingdom of Christ was far greater than the kingdom of Caesar. The man clothed in the least glorious garments in the kingdom of heaven shines with 6 trillion times more majesty than the Chief Priests and Pharisees had in their earthly lives. The glory of your kingdom of sin will not last. It’s brittle and cancerous. It’s nothing but vanity. So run to Christ. Run into the arms that drove away the sorrow of Mary and Martha by lifting their brother up from the grave. And you will find something infinitely greater than the fleeting glory of this perishing world. You’ll find the eternal embrace of Almighty God.

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