Lazarus’ Raising as a Proof of Resurrection

(John 11:1-45)

By

Rev. Dr. Sergio E. Arevalo, Jr.

Eagle Rock Lutheran ChurchWhich Do You Prefer? Old Practices or New Practices?. Read more ... »

Los AngelesCHURCH PLANTING VISION IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. Read more ... », CAHeaven or UFO?: The Liberating Words of Jesus. Read more ... »

April 06, 2014

 lazarusisout1Introduction

Our passage reveals at leastThe Judge-King Favors the Least: The Undocumented Aliens, etc.. Read more ... » three realities of lifeWhat is Life?. Read more ... »: (1) sickness is at the doorThree Deeds That Show the Intentions of the Shepherd and the Thief. Read more ... », (2) death is like a thiefThree Deeds That Show the Intentions of the Shepherd and the Thief. Read more ... » in the night, and (3) resurrection“As the Father has Sent me, so I Send You!”. Read more ... » is sure for GodThe Greatest is Love. Read more ... »’s gloryPGF the Lord!. Read more ... ».

There were three siblings: Lazarus, Martha and MaryThe Angel of The Lord Announces the Good News!. Read more ... » living in the village of Bethany, east of Jerusalem. Mary was the one who would apply Jesus613 Laws Summarize Into Two. Read more ... » with perfume and wipe his feet with her hair (JohnThe Logos Becomes Flesh. Read more ... » 12:1-3). Mary was also the one who sat at the LordCome! Share Your Master’s Joy!. Read more ... »’s feet and listened to Jesus’ teaching while Martha was busy hosting (LukeThe Angel of The Lord Announces the Good News!. Read more ... » 10:38-42). Lazarus was a loving friend of Jesus, and the disciplesThe Eternal Reward of Giving a Cup of Cold Water. Read more ... » (Jn. 11:3, 11).

Our passage centers in the sickness, death and raising of Lazarus, a friend of Jesus and his disciples.

1. Lazarus Was Sick and Died (John 11:3, 14, 17)

1.1. Lazarus was ill (v.3).

Jesus received a messageDoes God Repent in Nineveh?. Read more ... » that his friend, Lazarus, was ill. Probably there were two reasons why Martha and Maria sent“As the Father has Sent me, so I Send You!”. Read more ... » for him; one, because they supposed he would be desirous of knowing his friend’s situation; the other, because they supposed he could heal Lazarus.

The messengerThe Man Who Prepares Freeway for His Master. Read more ... » came to Jesus probably after one day. Since the travel from Bethany to the placeThe Judge-King Favors the Least: The Undocumented Aliens, etc.. Read more ... » of Jesus and his disciples, probably in Perea across the Jordan (John 10:40) would take at least one day journey. Jesus and his disciples were busy in their missionsCHURCH PLANTING VISION IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. Read more ... » that’s why they scheduled their travel back to Judea after two days, or probably Jesus waited for the right timeThey Complain to the Landowner Simply Because He is Generous and Fair to All His Laborers. Read more ... » (God’s time) so that he could show God’s glory through raising Lazarus from the deadJesus is Missing!. Read more ... ».

1.2. Lazarus consequently died (v.14).

Lazarus died and Jesus knew that (v.14), or perhaps it was told by the messenger that Lazarus was dying and not just sickThe Judge-King Favors the Least: The Undocumented Aliens, etc.. Read more ... ». Most likely Jesus got discernment that Lazarus would be dead soon.

Indeed, Lazarus was dead as told by Jesus and it was testifiedJesus is Missing!. Read more ... » by Martha (v.21), testified by Mary (v.32) and testified by the JewsLeaders Question This Man on What Authority He is Doing Those Benevolence, They Could Not Reason Out When He Responds. Read more ... » (v.19). When Jesus and his disciples arrived in Judea, Lazarus was already in his tombJesus is Missing!. Read more ... » (cave) for four days (v.17).

 2. Lazarus’ Sickness was Not Unto Death (John 11:4).

          Before going to Judea, Jesus told his disciples that the sickness of Lazarus was not meant to end in death. It was for God’s glory, so that the Son of GodThe Three Temptations of Jesus. Read more ... » may be glorified through it.

2.1. For the Glory of God (v.4).LazarusTomb

It was the intention of God that Lazarus would be raised from the dead so that He would be glorified, so that people would believeHeaven or UFO?: The Liberating Words of Jesus. Read more ... » in God’s miracles, so that they might knowHow to Know the Presence of the Holy Spirit?. Read more ... » that God was real and alive through the ministryLiberation Theology's Concept of "Poor". Read more ... » of Jesus ChristBear Jesus’ Yoke to Unburden Your Yoke. Read more ... ».

2.2. For the Glory of the Son of God (v.4).

It was also the intention of God that through the miracles Jesus would be glorified. It was also his intention that through the raising of Lazarus, it would prove that Jesus was with God and He was sent by God (v.42).

3. Lessons from the Death of Lazarus (John 11: 25-26).

You might ask what are the lessons we could gather from the death and raising of Lazarus? There are at least two lessons here: (1) It was an event to tell something about the resurrection, and (2) an event for God’s powerThe Son Will be Coming Soon with Power and Glory. Read more ... » and demonstration.

3.1. An event to teach Resurrection (vv.23-27).

Read the conversation between Jesus and Martha:

(23)  Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

(24)  Martha told him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

(25)  Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The person who believes in me, even though he dies, will live.

(26)  Indeed, everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe that?”

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

lazarustomb3Resurrection was not new in the teachings of Judaism, it was already taught in the book of Daniel (12:1-3). The book of Daniel says that there are resurrection for the righteousThe Eternal Reward of Giving a Cup of Cold Water. Read more ... » and for the wicked. That’s why Martha told to Jesus, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” ListenThe Cost of Following Jesus. Read more ... » to Daniel:

(1)  At that time Michael will arise, the great prince who will stand up on behalf of your people, and a time of trouble will come like there has never been since nations began until that time. Also at that time, your people will be delivered—everyone who will have been written in the book.

(2)  Many of those who are sleepingThe Parable of the Wheat and the Weeds. Read more ... » in the dustPracticing Piety in Front of People. Read more ... » of the earthCreatio ex Nihilo: Creation Through Amazing Words and Power. Read more ... » will awakensome to life everlasting, and some to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

(3)  Those who manifest wisdom will shine like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who turn many to righteousness will shine like the stars for ever and ever.

Indeed, Daniel prophesied that there are resurrection for the righteous and for the wicked. However, in the teaching of Jesus, resurrection and eternalThe Logos Becomes Flesh. Read more ... » life are sure for those who will believe in Him.

 3.2. An event for God’s power and demonstration (v.42-44).lazarustomb2

The raising of Lazarus was not just an event for timely teaching of Jesus, but also an event to demonstrate the power of God who sent Jesus ChristThe Greatest Act of God. Read more ... ».

John 11:41-42 tells the prayerIn Everything Give Eucharist!. Read more ... » of Jesus, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.”

After Jesus prayed, he shouted in front of the tomb, “Lazarus, comeFollow Me: The Cost of Following Jesus. Read more ... » out!” Verse 44 tells us a miracle, “The man who had died came out, his hands and feet tied with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a handkerchief.” Hallelujah!

Jesus touched “to-see-is-to-believe philosophyTuloy Po Kayo! (Welcome!). Read more ... »” of most people in His time, and because of that ……

3.2.1. Some Jews believed Jesus as a result of the demonstration of power (v.45).

Yes, indeed, those who were there in the raising of Lazarus witnessed his resurrection. And because of that they believed in Jesus as the One who sent by God. However, not all witnessesThe Message of Transfiguration. Read more ... » believed Jesus.

3.2.2. Some Jews did not believe Jesus and planned to persecute Him (v.46-53).

Some Jews who witnessed the raising of Lazarus told that matter to the Pharisees613 Laws Summarize Into Two. Read more ... ». And because of that they were bothered, so the Jews, the high priestGod Calls the Boy Rather than the Priest. Read more ... » (a Sadducee), the Pharisees and the council made a plot to killThree Deeds That Show the Intentions of the Shepherd and the Thief. Read more ... » Jesus for the sake of their status quo in the Judeo-Roman“Into Your Hands”. Read more ... » society.

The High PriestGod Calls the Boy Rather than the Priest. Read more ... » Caiaphas says “You don’t know anything! You don’t realize that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed” (vv.49-50).

Others believe it was a prophecyProphecy About the Philippines in 2009, Compare With Current Situation. Read more ... » uttered unknowingly by the High Priest, but in his knowing mindI Doubt, Ergo, I Believe. Read more ... » it was a plot to sacrificeA Man Accidentally Found Hidden Treasure in Other’s Field. Look What Did He Sacrifice to Get It.. Read more ... » one manHow to Ascertain God's Will?. Read more ... » rather than sacrifice the whole nationProphecy About the Philippines in 2009, Compare With Current Situation. Read more ... ». For the High Priest, it was a political“Give Back to Caesar the Things that are Caesar's”. Read more ... » thing.

 3.3. Lazarus’ death and raising were a concrete demonstration of Jesus’ teaching on Resurrection (vv.12:9-11).

resurrection.life_1Indeed, that is our perception regarding Lazarus’ death and resurrection. But the Jews had different perception, Lazarus was a thorn in the neck that they needed to pluck out. John says, “The high priests planned to kill Lazarus, too, since he was the reason why so many of the Jews were leaving to believe in Jesus” (vv.12:10-11).

Some of the Jews believed Jesus and consequently deserted from their Jewish“Give Back to Caesar the Things that are Caesar's”. Read more ... » faithHow to Ascertain God's Will?. Read more ... ». These were the people who witnessed and believed what Jesus did. And surely they believed Jesus was the life and the resurrection.

Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. The person who believes in me, even though he dies, will live. Indeed, everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe that?” “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who was to come into the world” (11:25-27).

 Conclusion

How this storyYou Have No Right to Keep it!. Read more ... » about Lazarus become relevant to all of us nowadays? If Lazarus experienced physical death, nowadays we also  experience death in some ways.

We die in our greed and sinsNew Year, New Creation. Read more ... », in our society we die due to government mismanagement, graft and corruptionProphecy About the Philippines in 2009, Compare With Current Situation. Read more ... ». In the recent story of Malaysian plane (MH 370) tragedy people die in lies, suspense, and concealment. Some countries are literally dying of hunger, plague, and sickness due to lack of food, waterA Man Tries to Walk on the Water, Look What Does He Get. Read more ... » contamination and mosquitoes.

Churches die due to political struggle, faith and belief differences, indifference to God’s missionWhat is Life?. Read more ... » and evangelismJesus’ Strategy of Evangelism. Read more ... », indifference to the welfare of the poorLiberation Theology's Concept of "Poor". Read more ... » and our neighborhood“As the Father has Sent me, so I Send You!”. Read more ... ». We die because of our petty quarrels and useless jealousy.

Indeed, we die or should I say that we are dead, too. If that is the case we must come out from being dead. Jesus shouted in front of the tomb, “Lazarus, come out!” (v.43), and Lazarus came out from the cave– alive! How about saying“Into Your Hands”. Read more ... » this, “members of Eagle Rock Lutheran Church, come out!”

Indeed, churches and countries need revivalDoes God Repent in Nineveh?. Read more ... » nowadays.revival_1_2011

Revival as Visitation of God

JamesThe Transfiguration of Jesus. Read more ... » Parker says that revival is the visitation of God which brings to life ChristiansThe Son Will be Coming Soon with Power and Glory. Read more ... » who have been sleeping and restores a deep sense of God’s near presenceThe Two Disciples’ Heart Burning Experience. Read more ... » and holiness. Thence springs a vivid sense of sin and a profound exercise of heartThe Eight Beatitudes: Principal Graces of a Christian. Read more ... » in repentanceNew Year, New Creation. Read more ... », praisePGF the Lord!. Read more ... », and loveThe Greatest is Love. Read more ... », with an evangelistic outflow.

Each revival movement has its own distinctive features, but the pattern is the same every time.

(1) First God comes. On New YearNew Year, New Creation. Read more ... »’s Eve 1739, John WesleyPGF the Lord!. Read more ... », George WhitefieldThe Eight Beatitudes: Principal Graces of a Christian. Read more ... », and some of their friends held a “love feast” which became a watch night of prayer to see the New Year in. At about 3 a.m., WesleyWesley Divinity School is Remembered. Read more ... » wrote, “the power of God came mightily upon us, insomuch that many cried for exceeding joy, and many fell to the ground.” Revival always begins with a restoration of the sense of the closeness of the Holy One.

(2) Second, the gospelJesus’ Strategy of Evangelism. Read more ... » is loved as never before. The sense of God’s nearness creates an overwhelming awareness of one’s own sins and sinfulness, and so the power of the cleansing blood of Christ is greatly appreciated.

(3) Then repentance deepens. In the Ulster (Ireland) revival in the 1920s shipyard workersThey Complain to the Landowner Simply Because He is Generous and Fair to All His Laborers. Read more ... » brought back so many stolen tools that new storages had to be built to houseHeaven or UFO?: The Liberating Words of Jesus. Read more ... » the recovered property! Repentance results in restitution.

(4) Finally, the SpiritPay it Forward Now!. Read more ... » works fast: godliness multiplies, Christians mature, converts appear. Paul was at Thessalonica for less than three weeks, but God worked quickly and Paul left a strong churchProphecy About the Philippines in 2009, Compare With Current Situation. Read more ... » behind him (James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986).

Revival in Northern Ireland

In the mid-1800s in the townJesus is Missing!. Read more ... » of Kells in Northern Ireland, four (4) men met each Saturday night for intense prayer. The whole night was devoted to prayer. Shortly afterwards, there was a powerful revival. Courts adjourned for lack of cases. Jails were closed for lack of criminals. Policemen formed quartets to sing in churches because they had nothingThe Eight Beatitudes: Principal Graces of a Christian. Read more ... » else to do.

I prayProphecy About the Philippines in 2009, Compare With Current Situation. Read more ... » that the revival of God will also experience by our churches and our country nowadays.

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