Cover to Cover
Close to Passover, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead as an obvious, miraculous act to get attention before His triumphal entry where He is declared King. In fact, Jesus waited several days before heading to Lazarus in order to allow Lazarus to die, so He could raise him from the dead. Jesus’ time to be crucified was near, but first, He needed to be accepted as the king, fulfilling Daniel 9:25, ending the 69 x 7 year part of the prophecy with the proclamation of the Prince, Jesus. In the Hebrew, the word for prince is actually the proclaimed prince. Jesus needed to be announced as king, and during the Triumphal Entry, He was. This fulfilled prophecy. The miracle of raising Lazarus helped to bring attention to Christ as the Messiah, their king. There was purpose in the miracle.
One thing I want to point out is that Thomas is often unfairly referred to as “doubting Thomas;” however, in verse 16, Thomas is ready to die with Christ. In verse 8, the disciples show concern about going back to Judea, because it was there the people tried to stone Jesus once before. Thomas, even though he doubted Jesus was resurrected, was willing to give his life for Jesus. It’s unfortunate that Thomas got that label as “doubting Thomas” from his initial response to the resurrection because the rest of his life reflects a great man of faith. History tells us that Thomas went into India with the Gospel. He led many people to the Lord. He converted a queen, and because of the anger of the king, Thomas was martyred. He was human, he made a mistake, but in my opinion, he was a believing Thomas.
1 Chronicles 23-25
In chapter 23, we read about the Levites. We see how they stand every morning and evening to thank and praise the Lord (verse 30). This was part of their willing service to God, not just for themselves; but sacrifices were made on behalf of the people. The Levites served God and the people in ministry.
In chapter 24, Ezra writes the records of the priests and other Levites, and in chapter 25, we can read about the musicians who served the Lord and the people. Today, we can also acknowledge and value those who serve in ministry and the local church for their work for the Lord and for us.