The Raising of Lazarus

We’re going through the New Testament now and trying to come to a deeper understanding of the Trinity and how Jesus saw himself. Right now, we’re in the gospel of John. Today’s text would be quite long to put up so I’m simply going to suggest that my readers just read it themselves. We’re not going to be doing anything really expository. I just want to go through the story as a whole. Go to John 11 then and read about the resurrection of Lazarus.

The story begins with Mary and Martha sending word to Jesus that their brother Lazarus is sick. We’re told that these are three people that Jesus loves. This is something to note because when you look through Scripture, you will rarely find it said that Christ specifically loves someone.

Christ sticks around for awhile even though Lazarus is sick and then after awhile, tells the disciples that they are going there to wake him up since he has fallen asleep. The disciples don’t understand until Jesus is just blunt and he tells them that Lazarus is dead.

So off they go. Lazarus has been dead for four days. This is another point to bring out. In Jewish thought, it was believed that the soul stayed with the body for three days and then went away. Christ is hear showing that he can bring back the soul to the body by what he will do here.

Martha is the first one to see Jesus and when she sees him she says “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus tells her her brother will live again, to which Martha points to the last day. Jesus says that he is the resurrection and the life and he asks Martha if she believes this.

At this, she affirms his identity. He is the Christ. He is the Son of God. He is the one who was to come into the world. All of this is tied together. This is a full statement on who Jesus is and it captures his identity very well.

At this, here comes the next sister Mary with the same statement of Martha. “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus asks her to show him the tomb and at this, we get the shortest verse in the Bible.

Jesus wept.

We dare not deny the humanity of Christ. I am making it a point that we show that he fully possesses the nature of God in these blogs, but let us not for a moment think that he is not human. If we have a Jesus who is fully God and not human, we do not have the Jesus of the Bible and we are heretics.

When Jesus gets to the tomb, he asks that the stone be rolled away. At this, I love the beauty of the KJV. Martha says “Lord, by this time he stinketh.” 

The stone is rolled away and Jesus prays to the Father for all who are there so they will know the Father sent him and then shouts “Lazarus! Come out!” The people look and lo and behold, the dead man stands up and comes out.

It has even been said that Jesus specifically said “Lazarus” lest every dead body rise up.

Jesus showed who he was then in this, the grandest miracle in the gospel before his own resurrection. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. In him, all will rise and Lazarus is an example of the coming kingdom. Death will have no hold. Now Lazarus did die again of course, but the final resurrection will have no one dying agan.

In him was life, as John said at the start. In this chapter, he proved it.

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