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.