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Friday, March 22

John 11:1-17

 Guder 2010
 Professor Darrell Guder 

“Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Thomas, called the Twin, urges his fellow disciples to join him in accompanying Jesus to Bethany, where Lazarus has been buried. He makes plain that this trip is a risk – “that we may die with him.” This is no idle speculation. The last time that Jesus and his disciples were in or near Jerusalem (John 10:22-39), he was almost arrested.

As we move toward the end of Lent, the events of Holy Week await us, with the crass contrast between the hosannas of the crowds on Palm Sunday and the mob’s cry, “crucify him,” a few days later. The cross overshadows everything leading up to Friday. We make our pilgrimage through Lent knowing that Easter is the victorious outcome. But the cross comes first. Our Easter confidence does not lessen the risk of following Jesus. Easter discipleship always includes our taking up our cross. The Lenten disciplines equip us to endure the painful challenges that confront the Christian community as it serves Christ in a world of rebellion and rejection. It’s at the cross that we discover that God transforms suffering into joy. If we go with Jesus “that we may die with him,” we will discover anew the truth of Paul’s great assurance: “For if we have been united with Christ in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:5).

Professor Darrell Guder




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