In John 11, we see the amazing miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. As Jesus was by the Jordan teaching many people, He got some really bad news. Have you ever been in the middle of work and received some bad news? Same. Well, Jesus can relate.
Lazarus’ sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” The words “the one
you love” show Jesus’ personal friendship with Lazarus. He wasn’t just an acquaintance. He was one of Jesus’ best friends. I love how this demonstrates that Jesus valued friendship during his time on this earth.
Jesus’ response showed the purpose of Lazarus getting sick. It was not for him to simply die. The purpose of his sickness was to ultimately glorify God through his resurrection as it says in verse 4, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
You would think that Jesus would immediately go to Lazarus and heal him, right? His friend is sick. He has the ability to heal him. It’s a no-brainer. But, Jesus had an eternal perspective in mind and he stayed where he was for two more days. I am sure the disciples were so confused. They had to be even more confused when Jesus told them that they are going to go back to Judea but that Lazarus is already dead.
He says in verse 15,“and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” If Jesus had gone earlier, He may have healed his friend and this miracle of resurrection would not have taken place. This miracle was essential for the belief of the disciples and for the belief of Christians today. It proves that He has the power to raise others from the dead.
When he arrives, the sisters question why he did not come sooner. But, Martha says “I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” As their conversation progresses, Jesus shares with her one of His 7 “I am” statements in the gospel of John. He says in verse 25, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Jesus IS the resurrection and the life. Not only will he be raised from the dead. He has the POWER to raise people from the dead, not only physically but also spiritually. He says that, through belief in Him, we will live even in death.
We see this truth illustrated in Galatians 2:20 where Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” God was both fully human and fully God. His human side is seen in his earthly friendships. It is also caught in his deep emotion as he was moved in compassion by the tears of Mary and Martha. The deity of the Lord Jesus is shown in how He knew that Lazarus’ sickness would not end in death. Furthermore, it is seen in how He miraculously raised Lazarus from the dead by simply using his voice. Even in Jesus’ humanness, the beautiful character of God is ever-present. God is glorified in every step.
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He demonstrated that He has power over death. It is foreshadowing the power over death he exhibits during this crucifixion and resurrection. We have that same power living inside us since we have been crucified with Christ. As you go throughout your day today, marvel at the deity and the humanity of Christ during his time on earth, and walk in confidence as you know the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead is living inside you.