WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7
Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. … Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
John 11:21. 23 (NLT2)
JESUS WANTS TO UNTANGLE MY PAST
At the 2002 Winter Olympics, there were five finalists for the Men’s 1000 Meter Speed Skating Race. During the final lap, the American and Chinese were out front with the Canadian and Korean skaters hot on their heels. Australia trailed behind, obviously destined for last place. As they came around the last curve for the final straightaway stretch, everyone gathered around the television, on the edge of their seats cheering for America to pull out in front. The winner would receive the Olympic Gold medal.
Suddenly, the Chinese skater slightly bumped the American and sent both of them careening into the wall as they spun out of control. With no time or space to get out of their way, the tangled mess caused the Canadian and Korean skaters to also spin out of control and join them in a tangled heap of arms and legs. The Australian skater pushed by the heap and shouted to the top of his lungs as he crossed the finish line, “Gold! I won the Gold!” This was so great! You see, he won the Gold for no other reason than he crossed the finish line! He finished the race! He was not the fastest. He did not set any records. He just simply didn’t quit or get tangled up in the mess around him. (Nathan Johnson)
In John 11, Martha approaches Jesus with the tangled mess of her brother’s death. She believes the tangle of his death can’t be undone, but she’s wrong. Martha’s word is not one of reproach, but rather one of regret: “Lord, I wish you could have been here because if you had, my brother would not have died.” Jesus was going to use this opportunity to teach her that nothing is impossible with Him.
Max Lucado says that “The grave unearths our view of God,” “God, if you existed my child wouldn’t have died, if you’d have answered my prayers my life wouldn’t be empty, if you cared my mother wouldn’t have developed cancer.” We learn from Martha’s encounter, we shouldn’t be thinking “what if,” but “what now?” Do you have a situation where your question needs to shift to “What now?”
Praise God for taking your past sins and setting you free from the penalty. Thank Him that your past doesn’t define who you are or who you will be.