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The Resurrection of Eleazar

The New Testament was originally written mostly in Greek because it was the "world language" of the time, a product of the Greek empire (see Ancient Empires - Greece) in the same way that English is used around the world today because of the British empire. The result was that many actual Hebrew names were recorded in their Greek version, which was then translated, and transliterated, into English. The Greek name "Lazarus" is derived from the leazar in the Hebrew name Eleazar i.e. the man known as Lazarus was actually named Eleazar, which in Hebrew is pronounced ale-aw-zawr.

"He that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes ... Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go"

The most famous "Lazarus" of Bible History was the brother of Martha and Mary, all of whom were close friends of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Lazarus / Eleazar is one of the most well-known events of the Bible - and was the culminating event from which the chief priests and the Pharisees made their final decision to assassinate The Messiah.

Mount of Olives

"11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 11:2 It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair [see Miriam Of Bethany], whose brother Lazarus was sick.

11:3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick." (John 11:1-3 KJV)

All humans are subject to death, sooner or later, but some humans have been temporarily resurrected for a purpose. Despite the pleas of Martha and Mary, Jesus deliberately stayed away and allowed Lazarus to die "for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."

"11:4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 11:6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 11:7 Then after that saith he to his disciples [see Disciples of Christ], Let us go into Judaea again.

11:8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?

11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? [see Hours Of The Day] If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. 11:10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep [see What Happens When You Die?].

11:12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 11:13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

11:14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. 11:15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

11:16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him." (John 11:4-16 KJV)

Upon Jesus' arrival, Lazarus had been dead for four days. Martha and Mary knew that Jesus had been only a short distance away and were grieving, not merely because their brother had died, but because Jesus had not come when they called. They did however at least understand that a resurrection was coming: "I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day." Jesus was about to show them that, although Lazarus would be resurrected at that future time (see the Fact Finder question below), he would also be awakened then, as a testimony to the Gospel.

Martha and Mary

"11:17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. 11:18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: 11:19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 11:20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.

11:21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 11:22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

11:23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 11:26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

11:27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

11:28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. 11:29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. 11:30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. 11:31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave [see Sheol and Hades; also Through The Gates Of Hell] to weep there.

11:32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." (John 11:17-32 KJV)

Lazarus' resurrection was a product of faith: "Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"

Tomb of Lazarus

"11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, 11:34 And said, Where have ye laid him?

They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

11:35 Jesus wept.

11:36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! 11:37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

11:38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 11:39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone.

Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

11:40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 11:42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 11:44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin.

Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go." (John 11:33-44 KJV)

The resurrection of a man four days dead should have been a joyous event, not merely for those who had a friend restored to them alive, but for everyone because it proved everything about the Christ. But the religious authorities, in the most stunningly bizarre logic, decided to kill the Christ because they feared losing their worldly position if everyone began to look to the Christ: "If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation." The High Priest was the only one who had a clear view, albeit brief.

The Council

"11:45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. 11:46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. 11:47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council [see The Sanhedrin], and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 11:48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

11:49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 11:50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

11:51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 11:52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. 11:53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death." (John 11:45-53 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why were some people, including Lazarus, temporary restored to physical life?
See Why Were Their Deaths Interrupted?


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