StoneBridge Community Church
Revealed - God at Work: "Come out, Lazarus!"
Senior Pastor Jon Saur
Locations & Times
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  • StoneBridge Community Church
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:00 PM, Saturday 6:00 PM

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In Revealed: God at Work, we will be looking to the signs that Jesus performs in the Gospel of John. "Signs" are more than just miracles - they point to deeper truths about God's work in the world and what God's eternal life offers us. Join us, so that you can see God's work in your life more clearly!
"Signs" in the Bible

New Testament scholar Marianne Meye Thompson writes about "signs" in the Old Testament and what they signified, so that we can better understand the context of Jesus' "signs." Thompson writes:

The term "'Signs,' often linked with 'wonders,' occurs frequently in the Old Testament to refer to plagues and others acts accompanying God's deliverance of Israel from Egypt. But many other things are also called 'signs': the rainbow; circumcision; the lamb's blood on the doorposts; the Sabbath; the words of God to be bound on one's hand, forehead and doorposts; the birth of a child; the fertility of crops in the land; and heavenly portents. Such things are "signs" because they are indicators of God's work in the world. Whether extraordinary (portents in the heaven) or ordinary (the slaying of the lamb; the circumcision of a baby), these things are 'signs' because they are not ends in themselves; signs function primarily to point to to God's work."

The Text In Context

If John chapter 11 tells us anything, it is that (those who conspired to kill Jesus) do not fail to come to faith due to a lack of evidence. They refuse to believe in spite of a mountain of evidence. No one disputes that Lazarus died, or that Jesus raised him from the dead. Yet, while this raising brings some to faith, it is a “problem” which must be reported to the (Jewish authorities).

https://bit.ly/3uaWnJH
Sermon Outline

Here is a rough outline of the sermon for this week, to help you follow along. (This is subject to change.)

I. Jesus' Seventh, and final, sign.
A. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead for his final sign.
B. The other signs have built up to this one.
C. The rest of the gospel of John is changed by this sign since this sign leads the Jewish authorities to want to take Jesus' life.

II. The Context of this sign.
A. Takes place in Bethany.
B. Mary, Martha, and Lazarus are close friends of Jesus.
C. Lazarus has died and Jesus allowed it to happen.
D. Jesus is taken to the tomb.

III. The Problem
A. The problem that Jesus addresses with this sign is death.
B. We aren't always comfortable talking about death, which is interesting because the Bible talks about it constantly.
C. Our culture isn't always comfortable talking about death.
D. Three reflections on this.
1. Denial of Death.
2. White Noise.
3. On Mortality.

IV. God's response to the problem of death.
A. The Gospel is often presented as "Jesus died for your sins," but this only tells part of the story of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
B. The Gospel ALSO includes that Jesus was resurrected, thereby overcoming death.
C. While Sin is a problem addressed by the Gospel, death is also a problem addressed by the Gospel.

V. The Sign
A. When Jesus calls Lazarus to come out of the grave, he is asserting his power over death. He is also pointing towards his own resurrection.
B. This sign teaches us that the work of God will always culminate in resurrection and will always point to resurrection.

VI. Our Response
A. Value life, don't just throw it away.
B. What are the areas in your life that you can hand over to Jesus, knowing that he calls life out of death?
C. This aspect of the Gospel, that Jesus has overcome death, should give us remarkably deep hope, a hope that only those who follow Jesus can hold.
D. Invite yourself or others to embrace the Gospel and embrace hope.

Painting of the Seventh Sign

Here is a rendition of this sign, that shows what Lazarus would have looked like coming out of the tomb, wrapped in cloths.

https://bit.ly/3f6saap

Denial of Death

This is the first book Pastor Jon mentioned that deals with death. This is not an endorsement of the ideas of the book, but is a reflection on how our culture avoids and denies death.

https://amzn.to/2RCebAf

White Noise

Here is the amazon page for the second book that Pastor Jon mentioned, the novel White Noise by Don Delillo. This quirky novel serves as another example of someone's reflection on our culture's avoidance of death.

https://amzn.to/3fwSvgV

Being Mortal

Here is the last book Pastor Jon mentioned, by Atul Gawande. This is not an endorsement of all the ideas, but a thoughtful ex-pose and critique of our modern medical system and some of the ideas that underly it.

https://amzn.to/3u7VhOX
NT Wright Quote

New Testament scholar NT Wright has summarized the Gospel as, "God's plan is not to abandon this world, which he said was 'very good.' Rather, he intends to remake it. And when he does he will raise all his people to new bodily life to live in it. That is the promise of the Christian Gospel."

Resurrection is the central promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The triumph over death and the remaking of the world is at the heart of the Gospel Jesus proclaimed and Christians continue to proclaim today.
GROWTH GROUP / PERSONAL REFLECTION QUESTIONS

1. Are you comfortable talking about death? Are you uncomfortable talking about death? If you are uncomfortable, what makes you uncomfortable about the idea of death?

2. Do you think our broader culture is good at talking about death? Do you think our culture avoids death? If so, why?

3. How would you define "the Gospel?" Would you emphasize Jesus going to the cross and dying more than the resurrection? Less? About the same? Why?

4. Jesus stands in front of Lazarus' tomb and yells for him to come out, thereby bringing life back from death. In what areas of your life do you need to Jesus to bring life back from death? How can you hand those areas to Jesus?

On Sunday, May 23 at 2:00pm, there will be a congregational meeting over zoom. The purpose of the meeting is to elect our new church officers and to approve our pastors' terms of call. Registration required.

StoneBridge Day Camp June 28th - July 2nd; 9am-11am. Registration has opened up for StoneBridge Day Camp! Join us for a week of fun in the mountains of Rocky Railway. Kids will discover that trusting Jesus will pull them through life’s ups and downs. You can trust that StoneBridge will be following local and state covid precautions carefully. Day Camp will have a reduced amount of kids, and at this time masks are required. Sign up by visiting our website.

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