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When Was Lazarus Resurrected?
Lazarus, along with his sisters Martha and Mary, were close friends of the Messiah; He frequently visited their home at Bethany, a short distance from Jerusalem. When Lazarus became ill, his sisters sent word to Jesus to come and heal him.
"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, 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)
But Jesus deliberately stayed away to allow Lazarus to die. Why?
"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." (John 11:4-6 KJV)
"For the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby"
After Lazarus had died and been placed in his tomb, the Messiah then went to heal him (see Resurrections to understand how Lazarus' resurrection was just back to physical life). Notice the similarities between how Lazarus was buried and how Jesus was Himself later buried - including the stone across the tomb entrance and the burial wrappings on the body.
"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.
As the Messiah said, the miracle done for Lazarus was "for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." But was it also an example, a prophecy, of something that was about to happen to Jesus? Amazingly, the man who was going to be responsible for the killing of Jesus answered the question.
"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.
And when did the example of Lazarus' resurrection happen? Near Passover.
"11:55 And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves." (John 11:55 KJV)
Even more amazingly, those who sought to kill the Christ recognized the prophetic meaning of Lazarus' raising, so they plotted to kill him too - a glaring paradox of logic.
"12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
Fact Finder: As stated in the verses quoted above, Caiaphas, the high priest of that day, recognized that Jesus was the Messiah, while at the same time being so blind as to who He was that Caiaphas wanted to kill Him. How, and why, could such a paradox happen?