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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.’”— John 11:25 (NLT)
Most chefs would agree that timing is an important aspect of cooking. From picking the ingredients at their peak of freshness to nailing the timing on a steak for a perfectly tender, juicy bite, knowing the perfect time is key to the success of a dish. Too soon and you may get sick, too long and you’ll ruin it.
When you study the Bible, you’ll see that God is a masterful chef. How so? He gets the most out of every ingredient, He can make something amazing out of things that don’t seem like they’d work together, He crafts everything with care, attention, passion, and love, and His timing is always perfect.
From Abraham and Joseph all the way to David, we see the Lord’s timing work out for good. Every delay, every pause, every seemingly unanswered prayer, every moment that passes where difficulties and trials persist . . . it’s all part of God’s perfect timing and cooking process. Every second is planned, every moment is intentional, all meant for our good and His glory!
This was the case with Christ’s coming. Galatians 4:4–5 (NLT) says, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son . . . to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.” When the time was perfect, when the exact right moment in God’s masterful plan arrived, He sent Jesus to die for our sins, to bring life into the world. Not before—although there’s no doubt the world needed a Savior and the Jews had been waiting thousands of years already—and not after.
It was also the case in John 11. Here, Jesus is informed that His good friend Lazarus was gravely ill. He says, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.’ So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days” (John 11:4–6 NLT). Seems like a strange decision, right? But not for the top chef.
During this time, Lazarus died. When Jesus arrived, Martha said to Him “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21 NLT). And when Jesus informed her that Lazarus would rise again, she said, “Yes . . . he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day,” (v. 24) to which the Lord responded, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” (v. 25-26). And to everyone’s amazement, Jesus did in fact raise Lazarus “for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me” (v. 42-44).
This is what Easter’s all about! Jesus, the resurrection and the life. He conquered death and broke us free from the shackles of sin. His death and resurrection make us alive, give us life. And not just eternal life (John 3:16), but true life here and now (Romans 8:11); a life of fulfillment (John 10:10). Easter is all about the moment our lives truly begin, the moment we die to sin, death, and destruction, and are spiritually brought to life to experience the presence, power, peace, grace, and love of God through Christ. “Just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life” (Romans 6:4 NIV).
The question we all have to answer in order receive this gift, to experience this life, is the same one Martha was asked: “Do you believe this?”
DIG: Read John 11:1–44.
DISCOVER: How have you seen God’s timing work out in your life? Have you experienced seasons where you wanted Him to move on something and He didn’t? What did you do in those moments? What did He speak to you? When He did finally move, what was it like?
DISPLAY: Celebrate Easter with your faith family! Reflect on the perfect timing of God to send Jesus and save us and on the time you believed in Him and became His disciple.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.