Scripture Reference:John 11:1-45
Story Summary:Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha, were friends of Jesus. When Lazarus fell ill, his sisters sent a message to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick." When Jesus heard the news, he waited two more days before going to Lazarus' hometown of Bethany. Jesus knew that he would do a great miracle for God's glory and, therefore, he was not in a hurry.
When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had already been dead and in the tomb for four days. When Martha discovered that Jesus was on his way, she went out to meet him. "Lord," she said, "if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
Then Jesus said these important words: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."
Martha then went and told Mary that Jesus wanted to see her. Jesus had not yet entered the village, most likely to avoid stirring up the crowd and calling attention to himself. The town of Bethany was not far from Jerusalem where the Jewish leaders were plotting against Jesus.
Jesus then went to the tomb of Lazarus with Mary, Martha and the rest of the mourners. There he asked them to remove the stone that covered the hillside burial place. Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed to his Father, closing with these words: "Lazarus, come out!" When Lazarus came out of the tomb, Jesus told the people to remove his grave clothes.
Points of Interest from the Story:• Jesus also raised from dead, Jairus' daughter (Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:41-42; Luke 8:52-56) and a widow's son (Luke 7:11-15).
- Others who were raised from the dead in the Bible:
In 1 Kings 17:22 Elijah raised a boy from the dead.
In 2 Kings 4:34-35 Elisha raised a boy from the dead.
In 2 Kings 13:20-21 Elisha's bones raised a man from the dead.
In Acts 9:40-41 Peter raised a woman from the dead.
In Acts 20:9-20 Paul raised a man from the dead.
• In this story of Lazarus, Jesus speaks one of the most powerful messages ever: "Whoever believes in me, Jesus Christ, receives spiritual life that even physical death can never take away."