|Theme:||Jesus raises his friend, Lazarus, from the dead. 5th Sunday in Lent Yr. A|
|Object:||Song, "My Best Friend Is Jesus"|
|Scripture:||Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.” Luke 11:11 (NLT)|
Do you have a friend that you would say is your best friend? (If you wish, let them tell you who their best friend is.) I hear a lot of people these days saying that someone is their "BFF". Do you know what "BFF" means? It means "Best Friend Forever". The idea of being "best friends" has been around for many, many years.
I even remember when I was about the same age as some of you, we often sang a song at Sunday School called "My Best Friend is Jesus." The song went like this: (Sing it for them, if possible.)
Can you imagine a better best friend to have than Jesus? Do you think Jesus had any friends that he might have consisdered a "Best Friend Forever"? Our Bible lesson today tells about Jesus and one of his friends. It tells about something very special that Jesus did for that friend. That friend's name was Lazarus.
Jesus received word from Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, that their brother was very ill. When Jesus heard about it, he said, "Lazarus's sickness will not end in death. This has happened so that God will receive Glory from this." So, although Jesus love Mary, Martha, and Lazarus he stayed where he was for two more days. Finally, he told his disciples that he was going to Bethany to the home of his friends. "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up."
The disciples said, “Master, if he’s gone to sleep, he’ll get a good rest and wake up feeling fine.” Jesus was talking about death, but his disciples thought he was talking about taking a nap.
When Jesus finally arrived in Bethany, Martha ran to meet Jesus and told him that Lazarus had been dead for four days. "If only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”"
Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”
"Yes," Martha said, “I know that he will be raised up in the resurrection at the end of time."
Jesus told her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die."
So, Martha went back and got her sister Mary and they took Jesus to show him the place where Lazarus was buried. When he arrived at the tomb, Jesus told them to roll away the stone that covered the entrance. He prayed to his Father and then he called in a loud voice, "Lazarus come out!" Do you know what happened? Even though he had been dead for four days, Lazarus walked out of the tomb! He wasn't dead — he wasn't even sick!
Oh my! How would you like to have a friend like that? Well, I do, and so do you! "My best friend is Jesus. Thank him! Thank him! My best friend is Jesus, Thank him!"
Heavenly Father, we are thankful that Jesus is our Best Friend Forever. We praise him, we love him, and we thank him for dying on the cross so that we might have everlasting life. In Jesus' name we pray, amen.
Work Cited: My Best Friend Is Jesus Copyright © 1939 Renewed 1967 Broadman Press
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