16 Mar. John 11:17-44

16 Mar. Jesus raises a dead man back to life

"When Jesus arrived [at Bethany], he learned that Lazarus had already been dead and in the tomb for four days... Many of the Jews [from Jerusalem] had come there to comfort Martha and Mary about their brother..."

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

"Jesus said, 'Your brother will rise and live again.' Martha answered, 'I know that he will rise and live again in the resurrection on the last day.'"

"Jesus said to her, 'I AM the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will have life even if they die. And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.'"

"Martha answered, 'Yes, Lord. I believe that you are the Christ [the Messiah, the anointed one], the Son of God, the One who was to come into the world.'..."

"Again feeling very upset, Jesus came to the tomb. It was a cave with a large stone covering the entrance. Jesus said, 'Move the stone away.' Martha, the sister of the dead man, said, 'But, Lord, it has been four days since he died. There will be a bad smell.' Then Jesus said to her, 'Didn't I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory [the bright shining radiant presence] of God?'"

"So they moved the stone from the entrance. Then Jesus looked up and said, 'Father, I thank you that you heard me. I know that you always hear me, but I said these things because of the people here around me. I want them to believe that you sent me.'"

"After Jesus said this, he cried out in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!' The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with pieces of cloth, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, 'Take the cloth off him and let him go.'"

          (John 11:17-44)

 

 

When Jesus and his followers arrived at Bethany, near Jerusalem, Jesus's friend Lazarus had died and had been buried for four days in a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.

Martha asked Jesus for a miracle, and Jesus reassured her with the words, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will have life even though they die.” (John 11:25)

Jesus wept when Mary declared, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:32)

Jesus then went to the tomb, got the mourners to remove the stone from the entrance, and called, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43)

Lazarus came back to life and the Jews took the cloth from around his face and removed the strips of linen that were traditionally wrapped around the hands and feet of a dead person.

This was utterly amazing, and we often miss the impact of this event because we are so familiar with the outcome.

Jesus deliberately put off returning to Bethany and knew that his friend would have been dead for several days by the time he arrived. No one could suggest that he hadn't really died, and that Jesus had only revived an unconscious man.

Mary stated what we, as Christians across the world, believe to this day: "I know that he will rise and live again in the resurrection on the last day." (John 11:24) Jesus confirmed her belief by saying, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will have life even if they die." (John 11:25)

Jesus, however, went one step further. He was taunted by the crowd, "If Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man, why couldn't he keep Lazarus from dying?" (John 11:32) So he responded by asking them to remove the heavy stone they'd put across the entrance to the cave so that wild animals couldn't scavenge the dead corpse.

He then called into the darkness of the tomb cave, "Lazarus, come out!" And the dead man walked out, a bit unsteady on his feet as he was still bound in the traditional spiced grave clothes put round a body to dampen the foul smell of rotting flesh.

Familiarity breeds contempt. Let's not forget how utterly amazing this miracle was! No wonder that many believed that Jesus was truly God's son.

The photo shows a reconstruction of a 1st century tomb at the Biblical Resources Institute in En Kerem near Jerusalem.

You can read more about the raising of Lazarus from the dead @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/5-jesus…/lazarus-come-out/


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