There is nothing like a funeral to bring people out of the woodwork.
For that reason, Jeff’s parents and I had wanted a revival for his funeral service. Many close family and friends would come to pay their final respects. Jeff’s mom, a dear, sweet Christian lady, had said this might be the only time some would have a chance to hear a clear presentation of the gospel.
Praise the Lord! There was a revival, but not without a battle first.
You see, the night before my husband’s funeral I, the grieving widow, was severely reprimanded by a leader in the church. Can you imagine? It was grief upon grief! And all over the placement of some extra chairs for the large crowd that was expected.
To this day I know that it was not about the chairs. Rather one person feared there was something at stake in our request for an invitation after the funeral message. I can understand. This was certainly not the norm and not like any other funeral they had planned. Many funerals have a gospel message but this was a call to step forward and receive Christ.
The reaming out was difficult to bear at such a difficult time, but well worth the blessings that came from that invitation.
Perhaps the raising of Lazarus from the dead was the greatest miracle Jesus ever performed while on this earth. Goodness! Lazarus had been dead for 4 days already!! He was bound in grave clothes and in the grave!
Yet, it was this amazing miracle that was the last straw for the Pharisees. They had something at stake.
…the Romans will come and take away our place and nation.
They admitted Jesus performed many miracles. They clearly understood many would believe on Him because of this great miracle.
Caiaphas, the high priest, convinced the others that it is better for one man to die than that they lose the whole nation.
Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. John 11:50
So in an attempt to save it all they plot to kill Jesus.
The enemies of Christ and His gospel have often coloured their enmity with a seeming care for the public good and the common safety, and, in order to this, have branded his prophets and ministers as troublers of Israel, and men that turn the world upside down. Matthew Henry
Of course this was all part of God’s sovereign plan. The High Priest, Caiaphas, was completely religious and completely unaware.
And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; John 11:51
So often I have found myself exactly where we find Caiaphas here - - unaware and unwilling to answer the call to lose.
Holding on to my own religious phylacteries. My standards, my religious habits, my way of serving God!! So much so that these standards, habits and preferences become the god that leads me rather than the Holy Spirit of God.
No matter how religious we are, we will be called upon to lose!!
Consistently asking ourselves the question, “What is it I fear to lose today?” is the key to yielding that very thing to God. Give it up to Him so that it is not yours but His to do with what He wills.
We must take upon ourselves this habit of dying and losing daily. Let us answer the call to lose.
Loser Bible Study Series Theme Verse:
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. Mark 8:35
“Lose” from the Greek word “Apollymi” means “to destroy fully.” It is translated perish in John 11:50, our verse for today.