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The Lesson Of Lazarus

The death and resurrection of Jesus' friend Lazarus is one of the best-known incidents of Bible History. But Lazarus' resurrection was also a direct object lesson in Messianic Prophecy. The raising of Lazarus from a cavernous grave after he had been dead for days occurred just prior to the Christ's own death - from which He too would walk out alive from a cavernous grave after He had been dead for days.

"Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"

Although Jesus grieved at Lazarus' death ("11:35 Jesus wept. 11:36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!" John 11:35-36 KJV), He allowed Lazarus to die for a purpose: "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" (John 11:25-26 KJV).

Tomb of Lazarus

"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 11:38-44 KJV)

Although most of the Pharisees and religious council had Jesus killed for reasons of petty politics ("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" John 11:48 KJV), it seems that some of them, most particularly Caiaphas, had enough light to recognize that Christ was The Lamb of God - and that He had to be sacrificed i.e. "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 11:51-52 KJV).

"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, 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.

11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

11:55 And the Jews' passover [see Christ's Passover; listen also to the sermons Christ's Passover: The Death And Birth Of The Saviour, How To Observe Passover and Christ's Passover from our Sermons page] was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves. 11:56 Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? 11:57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should show it, that they might take him." (John 11:45-57 KJV)

Fact Finder: Lazarus was resurrected to physical life. Did he later die again, to await his resurrection of salvation?
See Resurrections


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