by Philip Layton
Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. The plot to kill Jesus intensifies
- What does verse 35, the shortest verse in the Bible, tell you about Jesus? Why was he crying?
- Compare verses 45 and 53. Jesus becomes a polarising figure. To what extent is this still true today?
Share your thoughts below, or tweet about it with the #boundlessbible hashtag. Don't forget this week's Children's Challenge!
Going Deeper from 'Words of Life'
Physical death is the unique and universal experience of all humankind. Unique because it only happens once; universal because everyone dies.
Mary and Martha were shaken by the death of their brother, Lazarus. Jesus had not come to save him, to prevent him from dying. It was four days before Jesus actually arrived. Martha was rather upset at him for not coming, but somehow had confidence that all would be well. After trying to bring her comfort, Jesus said he was ‘the resurrection and the life’. He asked her if she believed this. Her response?
‘Yes, Lord,’ she told him, ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world’ (v 27).
Jesus deliberately made Martha exercise her faith before he acted. He required her to trust in him. Jesus did not plead with God to raise Lazarus – he prayed, trusting in the outcome. Then came the defeat of death. After Jesus called out his name, Lazarus came out of the tomb. He then asked some people to remove Lazarus’s burial cloths, so they could be part of what was taking place.
The raising of Lazarus demonstrated Jesus’ power over death; but his own resurrection would be the final victory over it. Lazarus was returned to life in a mortal body. Christ was resurrected in a glorified body.
We cannot raise people from the dead as Jesus did; but we can remove obstacles from them, to help set them free. We can help new converts shed the shackles of their former lives, so they can have absolute freedom in Christ. Do we believe Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life? Do we trust him implicitly with all we are facing? Do we believe we will one day be raised with glorified bodies and live with Jesus for ever? If so, let’s give him thanks and praise as we spend a few moments in worshipping him – right now.
Beverly IvanyTags: John