Connect Group guide: The Resurrection and the Life
The Resurrection and the Life – Andy Tilsley
If you missed hearing this talk in person you can listen again here.
Read John chapter 11. In this passage, Jesus finds out his friend, Lazarus, has died. It’s an interesting insight into how Jesus responds to death and how we might respond amidst grief or times of struggle.
Andy looked at four steps we can take from John 11:
1. Abide/Pray/Find God.
Jesus hears the news of Lazarus’s illness but stays where He is. Why? Partly because He abides (this is the same word used in John 15 to describe His close relationship with the Father). John 11:41 shows us that Jesus has been praying.
2. Recognise our dependency on Him.
Jesus waits, because He wants us to believe (verse 15). Rather than jumping in to solve every problem, sometimes Jesus holds back, because He wants relationship with us and wants to lead us to Him.
3. Receive the ministry of Jesus: of truth and of tears.
Jesus meets Martha and Mary – both of whom ask him the same question. To Martha he offers the ministry of truth – declaring himself to be the resurrection and the life, so she may believe in Him. Sometimes we need this – simply to know the truth that Jesus is stronger than the challenges we face. But Mary doesn’t need this so much. Jesus offers her the ministry of tears. He weeps with her. The people marvel “See how he loved him.” Maybe in times of grief, what we really need is to know how much Jesus loves us. He’s Lord over the problem, but He’s also with us in it.
4. Hope in the resurrection.
This is the last we hear of Lazarus – because the focus is all on Jesus, and the sign is showing us Jesus is stronger than death. He’s about to take on death in a new way, and in overcoming it himself, He offers us His same resurrection life and power.
- How can the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead help us as we either work through grief ourselves, or respond to the pain of the last 2 years due to Covid-19?
- Does our prayer life and love of the Bible currently show our awareness of how much we need Jesus?
- What ministry do you need most from Jesus? The ministry of truth, or the ministry of tears?
Spend time asking Jesus to show you His truth and His love. Isaiah 43:1-5 is a good passage on which to meditate, revealing God’s love and power over the storms of life. If you feel confident, break into smaller groups and share some of your own personal need of God and use this as a springboard for prayer.