Raising Lazarus


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Raising Lazarus from the Dead

    Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

    When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.

    Then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

    “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?”

    Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.”

    After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

    His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

    So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

    Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

    On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

    “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

    Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

    Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

    Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

    “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

    And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

    When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

    When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

    “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

    Jesus wept.

    Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”

    But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

    Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said.

    “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

    Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

    So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

    When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

    Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

    Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. -- John 11:1-47

The death of Lazarus, the friend of Christ

  • Three siblings named as friends of Jesus

The true character of Christ’s disciples

  • They were not always friends of Christ
  • They became friends of Christ through reconciliation, the same as is offered today through the gospel
  • Their friendship brings blessings
  • Their friendship made manifest
    • Profess Christ
    • Honor Christ
    • Obey Christ
  • Their friendship with Christ includes affection for Christ’s friends
    • Christ did not say “my friend” in reference to Lazarus, but “our friend.”

A metaphorical representation of death

  • The resemblance between sleep and death
    • Eyes closed
    • Ears sealed
    • Senses suspended
  • Sleep is a state of repose
    • The day is over
    • Fatigue past
    • Activity ceased
  • Sleep identified with darkness, or night
  • Sound sleep incompatible with suffering
    • Weariness, pain and suffering forgotten in sleep
  • Sleep relates only to the repose of the body
    • The body is still
    • The mind continues
  • Sleep is a temporary suspension of physical powers
    • Safe sleep
    • Hopeful sleep
    • Short sleep
    • For this sleep, preparation is necessary
      • Essential characteristics of true friendship with Christ
      • Connection between holy life and peaceful death
      • The grave the prison of the lost

Christ weeping at the grave of Lazarus

  • The character of his tears
    • He wept as a man
      • God made his heart soft, so he could feel as we feel
      • Not a weakness, but a manliness
    • He wept as a friend
      • He loved Lazarus
      • He loved the sisters of Lazarus
    • He wept as the Savior
      • Beheld the power of sin and the fallibility of man
  • The lessons of Christ’s tears
    • Even the saints of Christ must die
    • Grief in the time of death is a right and a sacred feeling
    • The death of the saints is not overlooked by Jesus
    • Death itself is subject to Christ
    • Christ’s presence can bring grace even in death

Resurrection of Lazarus

  • The scene
    • Walked from the grave at the command of Jesus
  • The directions given by Christ
    • Remove the stone
    • Prayed to the Father
    • Exerted power
  • Learn
    • The glory and dominion of Christ
    • Representation of the sould dead in sin
    • Miniature view








      of the final resurrection


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