Text: 1 Kings 17:22& 23 and John 11.

Sometimes, what happens in our lives get us confused and perplexed. That we are Christians does not prevent us from facing situations that will challenge our faith. In Such situations, some of us ask God, why? While some even doubt the love of God for them.

Elijah, despite being a prophet of God got confused and perplexed when the only son of his host, the Widow of Zarephath got sick and suddenly died. This confusion manifested in his response when he heard of the demise of the child:  “Then he cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with by causing her son to die? “ In a similar way in John 11:21, Martha & Mary expressed their pains and agony on the sudden demise of their brother, Lazarus when Mary said to Jesus:  “if you had been here, my brother would not have died”. Jesus, himself who is Lord over death was also deeply moved in spirit and troubled over the death of Lazarus.

In the two sited incidences, Elijah and Jesus never loosed faith in miracle working power of God. Elijah trusted God for the resuscitation of the son of the widow of Zarephath that he stretched himself out on the boy and prayed to God: “O Lord my God, let this boy life return to him! “ God answered his prayer and the son came back to life.

Jesus trusted his father for the life of Lazarus; he encouraged Martha and Mary to believe in God and in Him (Jesus) as the resurrection and life, that if they should believe they would see the glory of God. (John 11:40). Jesus spoke with authority and Lazarus rose from the dead.

The events of the son of the widow of Zarephath and the raising of Lazarus from the dead are evidences of resurrection of the dead. The dead would rise at Christ second coming for judgement. These events negated the wrong doctrines held by the Corinthians that got them gradually renouncing their faith in resurrection of Christ. The preaching of Paul was on resurrection of Christ, it is on this faith that the church was built and was the centre point of Christian message. (1 Cor. 15) The Corinthian Church doubted Christ resurrection because of the then prevailing heretic teaching based on the Greek thought that man consists of Soul and Body and the Soul is in prison in the body, the Soul is only free from the Body when one dies. When this happens the Soul will never enslave itself again by going unto the Body. Therefore there is no resurrection of the body.

In our two biblical account in 1kgs 17 and John 11 the soul went back into the body. The Corinthian Church looked down on the power of God. They did not believe that there is nothing God cannot do. That both soul and body are under the power of God and that He controls the issues of life and death. Whatever confronts us, let us keep trusting God. He is able to do more than we can thought or reason.

Our trust in God should not be limited to issues of this life or situations we face or found ourselves but also that He will give us new life after our physical death. That he would raise us from the dead to life eternal (Rom 8:11ffl). This is not automatic, except we first die to sin and rise to the life of righteousness (1Peter 2:24).

 

Very Revd Adewale Adebiyi Ph.D

The Provost

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