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Jesus Versus the Ultimate Predator


John 11: "Jesus versus the Ultimate Predator"
adapted from a sermon by Todd Wagner

John 11 is where Jesus comes up against this ferocious monster called Death. Is there anything scarier than death? I mean, really. Some of you guys go, "Well, not for me. I'm a follower of Jesus, so death is..." Great. You've already heard the message. You've read it. I'm glad you're thrilled, but let's just be honest for a second. Death is terrifying. Death is the enemy. It's not supposed to be here. God didn't want it. He warned us how to avoid it, but it is now here. It is unknowable. It is unavoidable. It is inevitable. It is heartbreaking. It is scary.

Just to let you know, they estimate that as of today, 108 billion people have lived and died or are alive. There are about 8 billion alive today, so roughly 100 billion people before us. At the time of Christ it's estimated—even with what I would call a young earth view, if you start with roughly two people about 4,000 to 6,000 years before Christ—there were 47 billion people that had come and gone by the time Christ showed up.

Would you have guessed that many had already lived? I'd have missed it by 40 billion, at least. I would have missed it by probably 46 billion. Probably 46.5 billion. I just had no idea. But how about this? Can you imagine the main event? Here is Jesus, this johnny-come-lately, this little guy from a much-maligned, backwater fishing village up north, who walks up against the undisputed, undefeated heavyweight champion of the world, 47,000,000,000 and 0—DEATH.

This isn't Rocky Marciano. This is 47,000,000,000 and 0. Melchizedek, we don't really know. Enoch, the Lord took him. Elijah, caught up in a whirlwind. So 47,000,000,000 and 0 and 3... maybe. We're not sure. But here's what I want to tell you: Death is an impressive champion. Death reigned supreme for generation after generation. Death struck terror in the hearts of history's greatest warriors.

Then into the ring comes Jesus, and he says, "Let's go."

My favorite passage in the Scripture is Revelation 19. I love gentle Jesus, meek and mild. I do. I like the fact that he's tender towards sinners. I need that Jesus. But do you know what I really like? I like it when he reveals himself in Revelation 19, and he's coming on a white horse to war. That is arrogant. You go to war on a dark horse. You whup your enemy in the dead of night and go riding back home with your plunder; you only ride the white horse in the celebratory procession; but Jesus GOES TO WAR on a white horse. Read your book of Revelation.

He has a big ol' thigh... think steroid-injected, 70s Arnold Schwarzenegger thigh thrown over that steed—a steed that makes Bucephalus look like My Little Pony—and there is a tattoo on it: KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS. You watch the NBA Eastern Conference finals, and you'll see guys tatted up with all kinds of tattoos. You will not see anybody with "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" on their thigh. THAT is a tattoo. I love that about my Jesus.

John 11 is one of those passages. They wanted to kill Jesus. They ran him out of town. He's east of the Jordan. A certain man was sick. His name was Lazarus. He was from Bethany. He was a buddy of Jesus. Martha and Mary were his sisters. They love him. He dies. The reigning heavyweight champion, the ultimate predator, wins another one.

This is David and Goliath; and David says, "Who are you, you uncircumcised Philistine? I'm going to chop your head off, and I'm going to take the entire army of the Philistines. We're going to feed them to the birds. We're going to feed them to the animals, that the world might know that there is a God in Israel." Do you get that? This is little David. And they say to him, "Oh, Jesus. He's dead. He stinks. There's nothing you can do." That's what they say. "It's been four days." Looking past their faithlessness, he says, "Roll away the stone. You're going to see who I am." So he says this: "Lazarus! Heel, boy." It's a good thing he said "Lazarus," or everybody would've been clawing on the stone at every grave and tomb around, because this is God. When he says, "You're no longer dead." Come on, let's go... the fight is over before it began.

Let me just tell you this. Here's my big crescendo, my big point. Are you ready? Aside from those that are alive and remain at the trumpet blast, you are all going to die just like Lazarus. Everybody. It will be terrible. Death is terrible. God hates death. It's been his enemy from the beginning. God says, "Don't leave me. I am life. If you leave me, you're going to die. Spiritually your marriage is going to be a wreck. Your kids are going to hate you. You're going to put ladders against the wrong walls. Physically, you're going to die. It's going to lead to something so awful and so opposite of Eden that you can't even imagine it forever. It's going to be a physical reality that's going to be almost timed by grace so you can see how awful this physical death is, so when I come with a great rescue plan, you might trust in me, and you might come back to me believing only I can give life. Therefore, you're reconciled to me, and I've made provision for you. You have nothing to fear."

A little bit later, Jesus faces down death directly, personally. He takes our sin to the cross that he might set us free. Do you get this text? I'm telling you, this is it. So you go to war while you're here. You live nobly for him. You're going to die just like Lazarus, and it will be terrible. Can I tell you something else? You are going to be resurrected. Just like Lazarus. Every one of you who believes.

Whether or not death is terrible for you, or whether its reality is the beginning of incredible clarity about the wonder of God, pivots on the question that Jesus asked Martha when she walked through this very moment in history: "I am the resurrection and the life," Jesus said. "Do you believe this? Martha, look at me. It's me. The Christ. There is no hope in anything else. Believe me. Trust in me, the Son of God who came to the earth to save sinful men. The Christ."

Post A Comment


  1. Wonderful. Thanks Brother.

    1. Most welcome. This was based on a sermon that greatly impacted me years ago.

  2. I really loved that and I got a much needed laugh with your descriptions. Maranatha!

    1. Maranatha! Jesus came the first time meek and mild; he's coming the second time like Terminator.

  3. Good article. Reminds me of a sermon or book i vaguely remember that talked about how true Christians will delightedly cheer as Jesus is shown to be the ultimate superhero, while unbelievers would see the same thing and stew in jealousy at not having all the attention themselves.

    1. That's a great point. Submitting to the Lordship of Christ is letting go of one's ego and ambition and giving all the glory to another. Jesus is the real superhero.

  4. Mr. Gary , you caught me 'flat footed ' with this one ! You present an unbelievably entertaining mental visual (reminds me of my early comic book days) and a broadly deep numerical word picture to ponder on this Sabbath . Thank you for sharing this one. Blessings to you and yours.

    1. Absolutely! Blessings and maranatha.

  5. Gary, this article by Todd Wagner is spot on for the Season we are in--the Season of His Return!

    Most moving to me was his description of Jesus in Revelation 19--"He has a big ol' thigh... think steroid-injected, 70s Arnold Schwarzenegger thigh thrown over that steed—a steed that makes Bucephalus look like My Little Pony—and there is a tattoo on it: KING OF KINGS and LORD OF LORDS."

    This is the perfect picture we need to keep in mind because--if what some including myself have seen prophetically is accurate--the TRANSITIONAL passageway to our Great Rescue is going to get progressively darker. The BEST PART is what God is going to do AND how very close we are to going Home!

    I saw a VERY intriguing video by Trey Smith about 2023 and it led to this article, dear Family:

    2023 LIGHT at the End of the Dark Tracks

    1. Great points! Thank you for sharing Sis! I'll check out your article, btw.


    Essene New Year has come and gone and now so has the Ecclesiastic New Year 5783. I was so blinded by work I failed to note that yesterday was Nissan 1.

    Fun fact: There are 73 days from Ecclesiastic New Year to Essene Shavuot this year. Seventy-three is the 21st prime number and a watermark number in Scripture just as the 12th prime number is being 37. (Both inverses of each other and the only numbers that have that quality).

    Fun fact: There are 153 days from Gregorian New Year's 2023 to Essene Shavuot as it begins on the evening of 6/3/23. (John 21)

    Nonetheless, Happy New Year to all!!



    1. Happy New Year! Always love seeing you on here PR!

      We're one day closer.

      In my own neck of the woods, mysterious trumpet-shaped flowers were appearing all over my property. Thing is, I can't find the source of them anywhere. Apparently they are called crossvines or trumpet flowers.

      Many others are reporting spring started very early this year. Flowers in full bloom from the United States to Japan. Something is afoot.


    2. Gary, thanks for mentioning how Spring started VERY EARLY this year! I have great expectation....

  7. Thank you, Gary and agreed 100%. Something is afoot!

    Added to all of that we have what is thought to be an Oort Cloud comet entering the inner solar system on a retrograde orbit. That means it is orbiting opposite to the rest of the planets in a clockwise motion rather than a counter-clockwise motion. Reports suggest it will be a brilliant and easily visible body.

    Comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan ATLAS)

    Will be watching this track with interest!

    More later...

    1. C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan–ATLAS)

      Quoting, Wikipedia,

      "C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan–ATLAS) is a comet from the Oort cloud discovered by ATLAS South Africa on 22 February 2023 and independently found in images by the Purple Mountain Observatory taken on 9 January 2023. The comet will pass perihelion at a distance of 0.39 AU (58 million km; 36 million mi) on 27 September 2024,[1][3] when it is expected to become visible by naked eye.[5][6] As of March 2023, the comet is currently 7.3 AU (1.09 billion km; 680 million mi) from the Sun, approaching at 15.7 km/s, with an uncertainty region of ±100,000 km.[7]"

      If to compare the closest approach of this body to my calendar model the comet may be visible in October, 2024. According to my (Psalm 90:10) model that is within the earthly ministry of the two witnesses.

      How about other things to come?

      We know that the third Temple will likely be a physical reality and to do so will require the ashes of a red heifer to be available. The red heifers currently at hand are so far so good it appears and about 1-1/2 years away from being mature and acceptable for sacrifice. If so, then they would be ready about the time of the Fall Feasts of 2024.

      Hmmm...that's a fit too.

      Looking at the date comet C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan–ATLAS) reaches perihelion? (That's closest to the Sun). Tsuchinshan-ATLAS will be at its closest approach to the Sun on Friday, September 27, 2024 (24 Elul, 5784) which coincides with this event in Jewish history,

      Quoting, Chabad.org,

      "Preperations for Second Temple Construction Begin (353 BCE)
      Inspired by Haggai’s prophecy on the first of Elul (see entry for that date), Zerubavel son of She’altiel, ruler of Judah, and Joshua son of Jehozadak, the High Priest, began the preparations for the construction of the Second Temple (Haggai 1:15). The actual construction began exactly three months later, on Kislev 24."

      The plot thickens?

      Hey, if nothing else, it's an education in Biblical (and Jewish) history. Israel of today may not (as a whole) see Jesus Messiah but one Day they will. Until then it's all about prayer and keeping faith.

      Nonetheless, time is growing so, so short...



  8. It's been about 24 hours since the heinous attack on the Shepherd and His flock of 3/27/23 (5 Nissan, 5783) in Nashville, Tennessee at the Covenant School. Please keep the families and friends of the victims in prayer as the Day draws nearer.

    I am reminded of the psalm,

    1 The LORD is my light
    and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
    The LORD is the stronghold
    of my life; of whom shall I
    be afraid?

    2 When evildoers assail
    me to eat up my flesh,
    my adversaries and foes,
    it is they who stumble
    and fall.

    3 Though an army encamp
    against me, my heart shall
    not fear; though war arise
    against me, yet I will be

    4 One thing have I asked
    of the LORD, that will I
    seek after:
    that I may dwell in the
    house of the LORD all
    the days of my life, to
    gaze upon the beauty
    of the LORD and to
    inquire in his temple.

    5 For he will hide me in
    his shelter in the day of
    trouble; he will conceal
    me under the cover of
    his tent; he will lift me
    high upon a rock.

    (Psalm 27:1-5 ESV)

    1. From BBC reporting on the shooting yesterday...

      "The shooter was dead by 10:27 local time
      (15:27 GMT), police said"

      Compare that to the verses quoted above. Verses that were stand-out to me following the shooting. The fifth verse of which is an obvious nod to the harpazo.

      BBC also reporting that Police first received reports of an active shooter at 10:13 local time (15:13 GMT). I cannot help but notice that 1-5-1-3 can be inverted to 3-1-5-1 of which 3-1-5 or 3/15 is a stand-out. The 15th day of the third month on the Essene calendar is Shavuot (Pentecost). The Essenes had an incredible understanding of faith as we know it and knew the line of the Order of Melchizedek -- of which Jesus is King/Prophet/Priest forever thus the importance of the Essene (Dead Sea Scroll) connection.

      Yes, I may be making connections that aren't there but then again why did this happen where it did and when? I do not believe in coincidences.

      Time is getting so, so short gang!



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