Just a few weeks ago, I had the privilege of spending some time with my friend Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church in Washington D.C., who shared about his latest book, The Grave Robber.
Tragedy strikes the home of Mary and Martha. Despite calling on every doctor and apothecary in town, Lazarus’ color turns pale, his pulse slows, his mind blurs.
The sisters beg Jesus to come quick. Race. Speed. Buzz through traffic lights.
Jesus does the opposite.
He takes the scenic route, driving well below the speed limit. He stops for chips and snacks and far too many bathroom breaks.
By the time Jesus arrives in Bethany, Lazarus isn’t just dead; he’s disintegrating. Decomposition gnawing his flesh and bones.
What kind of Savior is this? Why didn’t he press his toes on the gas pedal? Move faster? Rework the calendar?
A pair of power-packed declarations punch through the NIV translation:
Who is this I AM?
Lazarus must die for faith to live.
Lazarus must breath his last for our hope to breathe anew.
Lazarus must become a corpse for Christ’s power to be displayed.
The great I AM reveals his authority over all things—including death. That’s why Jesus is the grave robber.
Years ago, I met a woman whose wayward son had gone down a path of self-destructive behavior including drugs, alcohol, and illicit affairs. I tell her story in more depth in The Organic God: Fall in Love With Jesus All Over Again.
After praying 10,000 prayers, crying 10,000 tears, and begging year after year, she felt exhausted, disappointed, and shattered by the heartache.
One day in the quiet stillness she heard God whisper two words to her:
In that moment, she knew God was with her—and her son. He had heard every prayer. Her concerns had not slipped below his radar.
What do I most need to read but least want to hear?
I have places in my life where I need God to whisper I AM. I need to hear God echo I AM in areas of my health, provision, future, and family.
I bet you do, too.
Father, may you, the great I AM, take up residency in every crevice of our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Where is the place that you most need to hear God whisper I AM to you?