Lazarus Come Out
Today’s Reading: John 11:1-44
25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”John 11:25-27
Our passage today introduces the fifth of Jesus’ “I Am” Statements when He tells Martha: I Am the resurrection and the life. He went on to explain that “The one who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and the one who lives and believes in Me will never die.” I love that when asked, Martha affirms her belief by addressing Jesus as “Lord” and making a clear statement of exactly who Jesus is and where He has come from.
They were having this conversation because Martha’s brother, Lazarus, had been sick and died. Lazarus was Jesus’ friend and it is clear as the story unfolds just how special Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, were to Jesus. Not only do we read how He was greatly distressed at their grief and even wept. Yet, even in His weeping there was division, for while some saw it as a testimony of His deep love for Lazarus others viewed it as a lack of action on Jesus’ part and once again His power and character were brought into question. When He heard them raise the question, “Couldn’t He have done something to keep Lazarus from dying?” the Scripture says He was intensely moved again.
At the Tomb
Being intensely moved – Jesus went to the tomb and said, “Take away the stone.” – Then looking upward, He thanked the Father for listening to Him and expressed His desire for the people that were watching to believe that God had sent Him – and then – “Jesus shouted in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” – and Lazarus came out and at Jesus’ command he was unwrapped from the burial clothes and let go. Ah, the power of our God and of our Savior.
Just as Jesus had said, in the beginning of this story (John 11: 1-15), Lazarus’ sickness led not to His death but to God’s glory. Surely the Son of God was glorified through it as the people watched in wonder, not only the incredible evidence of Mary and Martha’s real and present pain in their loss but also the faith that they exhibited, and of course the resurrection and the life of Lazarus by the One who had declared Himself to be – “The Resurrection and the Life.”
Some Helpful Behind the Scene Commentary
Chapter Summary Jesus has left the vicinity of Jerusalem to avoid hostile religious leaders. While gone, He receives word that a good friend, Lazarus, is sick. In fact, Lazarus has died by the time this message reaches Jesus. He purposefully waits a few days before returning to Bethany, arriving four days after Lazarus' burial. In front of Lazarus' mourning sisters—who Jesus weeps with—and an assembled crowd, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead in a stirring and spectacular miracle. This is the seventh of John's seven ''signs'' of Jesus' divine power. In response, religious leaders coordinate in their effort to have Jesus murdered. BibleRef.com @ John chapter 11