“Very, Very Dead”
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked…”
The spirit of man is dead because of sin. A lot of people were crying and making all kinds of racket around Lazarus’ tomb during the four days he was laying their dead, but it didn’t wake him up or disturb his sleep. Lazarus didn’t help prepare his body for burial, didn’t give his opinion on who should be invited to the funeral or help decide on the menu for the guests; he was dead! We all know that dead men cannot do anything good or bad.
Lazarus was not able to respond to the people at his funeral. In the same way we couldn’t respond to God when we were dead spiritually. Everyone knows that a dead man cannot feel conviction for their sins or place their faith in Jesus Christ. Only living people can be convicted of their guilt or place their trust in something. A dead man can’t do anything. And a dead spirit cannot repent or believe! The only way that Lazarus could greet the guests who attended his funeral was by being raised from the dead. Only after he was alive could he be grateful that they had come to show their respects. And only after someone is born again by the grace and power of God can someone repent of their sins and place their trust in Christ. God decides who he will give life to, not because they repent and believe, but because of his predestined choice. He FIRST gives them new life, and THEN they are convicted of their sins, repent and believe. Faith and repentance are part of salvation, not the means by which we receive it.