Daily Meditation

Daily Reading and Meditation

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Daily Reading and Meditation

 Sunday (March 26):  I am the resurrection and the life

Scripture:  John 11:1-45

1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of
and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with
and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3
the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”
4 But
when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness is not unto death; it
is for
the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means
of it.”

5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he
that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he
was. 7
Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go into Judea
8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking
to stone
you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there
not twelve
hours in the day? If any one walks in the day, he does not
stumble, because
he sees the light of this world. 10 But if any one walks in
the night,
he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 Thus he spoke,
and then
he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go
to awake
him out of sleep.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has
asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death,
but they
thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told
them plainly,
“Lazarus is dead; 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not
so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Thomas, called
the Twin,
said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die
with him.”

17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in
tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles
off, 19
and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them
their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she
went and
met him, while Mary sat in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if
you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 And
even now
I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23
Jesus said
to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I
that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25
said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes
in me,
though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and whoever lives and
believes in
me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to
him, “Yes,
Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is
into the world.”

28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary,
quietly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when
heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not
yet come
to the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met
him. 31
When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw
Mary rise
quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was
going to
the tomb to weep there. 32 Then Mary, when she came where Jesus
was and
saw him, fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been
my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her
weeping, and
the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in
and troubled; 34 and he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said
to him,
“Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how
he loved
him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes
of the
blind man have kept this man from dying?”

38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a
and a stone lay upon it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there
be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said
to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you would believe you would see the
glory of
God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes
said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that
always hear me, but I have said this on account of the people
by, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said
this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The dead
came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face
with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him
go.” 45
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen
what he
did, believed in him;

Second Reading:  Ezekiel 37:12-14

12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD:
Behold, I will open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O
my people;
and I will bring you home into the land of Israel. You shall know
I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your
O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall

Meditation: If a true “friend loves at all times”(Proverbs
why did Jesus delay in coming to Lazarus’ home when he knew that
his friend was gravely ill? Jesus certainly loved Lazarus and his
two sisters
and he often stayed in their home at Bethany. But to the surprise
of his
friends and disciples, Jesus did not go right away to Bethany when
he was
called. Jesus explained that Lazarus’ sickness would bring glory
to God.
The glory which Jesus had in mind, however, was connected with
and the cross. He saw the cross as his supreme glory and the way
to glory
in the kingdom of God. For Jesus there was no other way to glory
through the cross.

Jesus also knew that it was dangerous for him to travel anywhere
Jerusalem at this time, since the religious authorities in
Jerusalem were
plotting his destruction. Jesus, however, was willing to pay the
to help his friend. For Jesus to come to Jerusalem at Passover
time was
an act of courage. The explanation which Jesus gave to his
disciples was
simple and challenging at the same time. “Are there not twelve
in the day?”
In so many words he said: “There are enough
hours in the
day to do what one must do.” A day can neither be rushed nor
Its period is fixed.

Courage to act in the light of God’s truth

In God’s economy we each have our “day” whether it be short or
While time is limited, there is enough for us to accomplish what
God intends.
God gives each of us our allotted portion in life. We can either
it or use it to the utmost for God’s glory. Jesus did not let
or pressure dictate what he would do. Nor did he permit others to
his actions or timetable. He took action of his own initiative and
in his
good time. Don’t we often try to get God to do things in our way
and on
our timetable?

Both the Romans and the Jews divided the day into twelve equal
from sunrise to sunset. The day’s work and travel, however, ceased
the daylight was gone. If someone wanted to get their day’s work
he had to do it before it got dark. Jesus made a spiritual analogy
our relationship with God. While the light of Christ is with us,
we must
live and walk in the truth and grace of his light. There’s a right
to make peace with God, and that time is now. When darkness comes,
judgment follows for those who refuse God and spurn his love.

When Jesus announced that Lazarus was dead and that he was going
Jerusalem, Thomas showed both his courage and pessimism. “Let
us go,
that we may die with him.”
This courage, however, was not
with faith and hope in God’s promise to bring victory out of
defeat. Even
though Thomas was a witness to Lazarus’ resurrection, he betrayed
his master
when arrest and death stared him in the face. He doubted his
master’s resurrection
until Jesus showed him the wounds of his passion. God gives us
faith, courage,
and the strength we need to persevere through any trial and
suffering we
must face in this life. If we embrace our cross with faith and
trust in
God, then we, too, will see victory and glory in the end.

The hope of our resurrection

What is the significance of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead?
is more than a miraculous event. It is a “sign” of God’s
to raise up all who have died in Christ to everlasting life. That
is why
Jesus asked Martha if she believed in the resurrection from the
dead. The
Christian creed, which is the profession of our faith in God the
Son, and Holy Spirit and in the saving power of God, culminates in
proclamation of the resurrection of the dead on the last day and
in life
everlasting. This is our faith and our hope.

“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead
in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life
to your
mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you”


God gives us the power of his Holy Spirit that we may be made alive
Christ. Even now we can experience the power of the
of the Lord Jesus in our personal lives. The Holy Spirit is ever
to change and transform us into men and women of faith, hope, and
Do you believe that the power of Jesus’ resurrection is at work in
life today? Let the Holy Spirit strengthen within you the life and
of God and the hope of heaven.

God is my help

The name Lazarus means “God is my help”. Jesus’ parable about the
man Lazarus, who died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s
(Luke 16:19-31), ends with a warning: “If they do not hear
Moses and
the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should
rise from
the dead.”
Through Lazarus’ sickness and subsequent death, God brought
glory through his Son the Lord Jesus, who raised his friend from
the dead
in anticipation of his own death and resurrection. Our
participation in
the Lord’s Supper in the Eucharist already gives us a foretaste of
transfiguration of our bodies.

Irenaeus, a second century church father states:

“Just as bread that comes from the earth, after God’s
has been invoked upon it, is no longer ordinary bread, but
Eucharist, formed
of two things, the one earthly and the other heavenly: so too our
which partake of the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, but
the hope of resurrection”(Adv. Haeres. 4,18).

Psalm 27 ends with the great prayer of hope in the resurrection:

“I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in
land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your
heart take
courage; yes, wait for the Lord!”

Do you find joy and hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

“Lord Jesus Christ, you have ransomed us with your blood and
us to life with the Father in heaven. May your resurrection be our
as we long for the day when we will see you face to face in

Psalm 130:1-8

1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD!

2 Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of

3 If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
who could stand?

4 But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared.

5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and
in his
word I hope;

6 my soul waits for the LORD more than
for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.

7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the
there is steadfast love, and with him is plenteous redemption.

8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Cross and Resurrection,
Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.

“Jesus’ cross is an example of painful toil. His resurrection is
reward of painful toil. In the cross He showed us how we are to
bear suffering.
In His resurrection He showed us what we are to hope for.” (excerpt
from On the Creed 3,9)

Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use – please cite:  copyright (c) 2023 Servants of the Word, source:  dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager.

Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.  Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can be found here.

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