Mon | Dec 17, 2018

When God sets you free, you are free indeed!

Published:Saturday | September 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:

John 11:1-4: "Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and Martha. It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore, the sisters sent unto him saying, 'Lord, behold he whom Thou lovest is sick'. When Jesus heard that, He said, 'This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God that the son of God might be glorified thereby'."

Much like Mary and Martha, every individual will, at some point in their lives, feel as though the pressures of life are too big to be dealt with, but Pastor of Campbell's Castle Seventh-day Adventist Church Latoya Smythe-Forbes has said that that is not possible - not while God is still God.

"... There is always a crowd following Jesus, and everyone has a unique reaction to Jesus. He was busy doing His Father's business; He was healing the sick, touching the lame, and healing people of leprosy. And while doing His Father's business, he gets word that his friend Lazarus is sick, and the word that comes to Jesus is a powerful word, because Mary and Martha could not help as they watched their brother declining. They sent word to Jesus saying that the one you love is sick," said Smythe-Forbes.

Speaking during a sermon recently, Smythe-Forbes expressed that Jesus tarried for two days because He knew to whom He belongs and the power that would move through Him.

The disciples could not understand how Jesus could give the command for them to travel to Lazarus to wake him up when they knew that he had died.

"Jesus knew that Lazarus was dead, but He wasn't worried because there is only one person who has the antidote over death. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. The devil has come to kill and to destroy, but Jesus has come that we may have life and have it more abundantly. If you don't have Jesus, you are not living. If you don't have Jesus, you don't have abundant life. If you really want to live life. You have got to get Jesus," Forbes encouraged.

"When Jesus finally appears at the home of Mary and Martha, there is a crowd of Jews mourning, and Martha approaches Jesus with one statement, 'If you were here, my brother would not have died'.

"They knew her brother would one day be resurrected, but they were not prepared for what Jesus was going to do next.

"... Jesus is the resurrection and the life, Jesus lets them know that the resurrection is not a time event. When He shows up, resurrection power is available. Jesus said, 'Show me where he is laying down'," said Smythe-Forbes.

According to her, no one can truly understand the power that emanated from this Man as he walked towards the tomb to glorify His Father.

"... Jesus said, 'Roll the stone!' and when they rolled the stone away, Jesus is staring right into the cave, staring right at death. And when he looks at death death is afraid, death begins to tremble because there is one more powerful than death. Then Jesus said, 'Lazarus!' and Jesus calls him by name because if He didn't call him by name then every dead would get up. 'Lazarus, come forth'," said Smythe-Forbes in her message.

She added: "I don't know how Lazarus got up because he was wrapped up, but you see, when Jesus calls your name, no grave can hold your body down. When Lazarus came forth, Jesus said, 'Loose him.' When God sets you free, you are free indeed - from alcoholism, from homosexuality, from the addiction of smoking, from practising fornication."

Pastor Smythe-Forbes said that it is not about the resurrection of Lazarus that has power, but the transformation that happens when someone comes into contact with Jesus.

"Choose to be in the crowd that accepts Jesus as their personal saviour from sin," she charged.

T.B.