Sunday, June 12, 2016

Return of the Rooster and the Resurrected Jesus

The hay ride for Sam was not the only surprise I had late Friday afternoon. (Very Surprising Day) After we returned to the barn, I had the biggest surprise of all. 

A rooster was crowing in the chicken coop.

As you may remember, a hawk killed all of my roosters. (Over in An Instant) I found two big piles of feathers, both matching my missing roosters. There was a third pile of feathers that wasn't as big, but big enough to suggest a fatality. 

No roosters + big piles of feathers = dead roosters.

I counted the chickens Thursday night. Seven hens. No roosters. When I wrote about the missing roosters, there were still seven hens. No roosters.

Friday afternoon, I went to investigate the crowing. There, in all his glory, was the rooster that had hatched from an egg in my barn. (RIP Fred and Ricky) 

Once known as Rooster, his new name is Lazarus.

I don't know where he was when I was counting, but he is definitely in the coop now. Maybe he was hiding in fear of the hawk. Maybe he was sulking in the corner. Regardless, he's back, and I am the most surprised of all about it.

I renamed him in honor of Mary and Martha' brother, Lazarus, who was Jesus' friend. You probably remember this story. (Here's the Leanna Paraphrase)

Lazarus was sick, and his sisters were distraught. They knew he was about to die, so they sent for Jesus. 

"Come quick," they said. He was sad about His sick friend, but Jesus didn't come quick. 

Lazarus died. 

What no one knew was that Jesus didn't come quick because He had a wonderful surprise. 

When He arrived at their house, everyone was wailing and crying. They were all mad at Jesus. 

"Where were you when we needed you?" They didn't even want to talk to Him. 

That didn't bother Jesus. He knew about the surprise. He walked over to the tomb where his dead friend had been buried for days. 

"Come on out, Lazarus," Jesus called.

The people probably looked at each other and rolled their eyes. "Yeah, right." 

All of a sudden, a mummy came stumbling out of the tomb. 

"It's Lazarus!" It wasn't a mummy after all. He was just wrapped up in grave clothes and couldn't get out. The people raced to him, unrolled him from the burial wrappings, and celebrated! 

Lazarus was alive! 

There were probably many reasons Jesus waited to spring His big surprise on Martha and Mary (and Lazarus), but I think he had one main reason.

Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem. He knew He would be crucified, buried, and rise again. He knew the resurrection would be hard to believe. 

If His followers had seen someone rise from the dead before, though, it might be easier. Jesus knew that the great joy of Lazarus' return from the dead would make up for the few days of grief his sisters had endured. So He did it. He waited until Lazarus was dead, raised him, and imbedded a memory in the minds of His followers. 

When they heard that Jesus had died, they wouldn't panic. They could remember Lazarus and hope. When they heard that Jesus had risen, they wouldn't be skeptical. They'd remember Lazarus and think, "Oh, yeah. I've seen Him do that before." It would help them believe. It would blunt their grief. It would ease their confusion.

He did it because He loved His friends and followers, and He knew His death would be hard. It was a complicated technique, but Jesus eased their pain, in advance, the best way possible. By showing them it was possible.

I saw that rooster (who didn't get raised from the dead, but was just hidden) and thought about Jesus. He showed us that He was able to do what must be done. He conquered sin and death, and He is still in the conquering, cleansing business.

Jesus has gotten lots of bad press in recent years, but He's still as nice, as victorious, as powerful as ever. 

The One who raised Lazarus from the grave can still change the course of a bungled life. 

He can still bring joy from sorrow. 

He can still bring victory from defeat. 

He can still handle problems and concerns as big as yours and mine.

Today, let's take our eyes off the worries of life and put them on the One who can handle it all. 

Cry out to Him for He is able.

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die..." John 11:25-26 nasb

P.S. - I had another surprise. My friend, Pat, has found me a new, young Americauna rooster! I'm about to have a very excellent addition to my chicken coop. Two good things have come from my one big sorrow. Thank You, Jesus and Your helper, Pat. 
If you missed the stories the last two days, the links are embedded in the text. Just click on them.
#resurrection #Jesus #roosters #surprise #linesfromleanna