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Saturday, October 22 2011

The Place Of Lazarus

Bethany, from the Hebrew words meaning house of dates, was a village located on the side of the Mount of Olives (see the Fact Finder question below), a little less than 2 miles from Jerusalem, on the road to Jericho. As "Bethany" implies, it was originally named after the date-palm trees that grew there. A historic event involving a village resident named Lazarus ("Lazarus" is an abbreviated form of Eleazar, which means he who God helps) produced its present-day name, el-Azariyeh (or Lazariyeh), meaning the place of Lazarus.

Lazarus was the brother of Martha and Mary ("Mary," in the actual Hebrew Miriam, was a common Hebrew name at that time, as it had been for centuries i.e. the sister of Moses was named Miriam), all of whom were close friends of Jesus Christ. The Prophet Of Galilee often visited them in their home in Bethany when He came down south to Judea.

The event that would make the life of Lazarus famous began with his death - at the time when the Messiah's own life was being threatened by the corrupt religious authorities (see also Is Your Religion Your Religion?).

The Holy Scriptures

"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.

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, 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? 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 The Sleep Of Death].

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 11:1-16 KJV)

"Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put Him to death"

The Messiah deliberately stayed away for four days - from the condition of the body, there would be no doubt in anyone's mind that Lazarus was dead.

The Tomb Of Lazarus

"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." (John 11:17-22 KJV)

Martha had learned her lessons well. She knew that a resurrection was coming, sooner (at the time of Christ's return; see the Fact Finder question below), or later (see The Eighth Day: What Does It Mean?).

"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." (John 11:23-27 KJV)

Jesus then went to the tomb and grieved for His dead friend.

"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 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.

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?" (John 11:28-37 KJV)

The place of Lazarus in history would be accomplished by means of a restoration of his life of that time, for two purposes.

"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)

The resurrection of Lazarus served the purpose of being a proof of the Messiah's coming i.e. "many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him." But it served another purpose; it was the event that caused the jealous religious authorities to eventually Sacrifice the Lamb of God i.e. "from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death."

"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." (John 11:45-53 KJV)

Fact Finder: Bethany, or "the place of Lazarus," is located on the Mount of Olives. What major prophetic significance does the Mount of Olives have?
See When And Where Your Eternal Life Will Begin


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This Day In History, October 22

4004 BC: The date calculated in the 17th century by James Usher, Archbishop of Armagh, and Dr. John Lightfoot of Cambridge, as the day the earth was created. It actually took place far earlier than that (listen to our Sermon Creation in 4004 BC?).

741: Charles Martel died at age 53. The rulership of Gaul was divided between his two sons Pepin III and Carloman.

1721: Peter the Great became czar (czar is the Russian form of "Caesar," as is the German kaiser) of all Russia.

1764: The Battle of Baksar, fought between the East India Company's forces and those of the Mughals. The decisive battle confirmed the British control of Bengal.

1797: The first successful parachute jump was made by Andre-Jacques Garnerin from a balloon over Paris, France.

1836: Sam Houston became the first "President of the Republic of Texas" (unlike the "New England" States, Texas, which remained part of Mexico in 1776, rebelled against Mexico about 50 years later).

1844: The date predicted by religious leader William Miller (Ellen White's "Seventh Day Adventist" organization, Herbert Armstrong's "Worldwide Church of God" and the present-day "Sacred Name" movement were among a number of early 20th Century offshoots of the Miller movement) when the Return of Jesus Christ would occur. Among the many thousands of his followers, the day became known as the "Great Disappointment." Miller and his followers chose to ignore the only Biblically-stated proof that Christ's return would soon happen - the beginning of the 42 month miraculous ministry of the "two witnesses," immediately after which Christ's return will happen; see The Prophets: The Two Witnesses and Could Christ Return Tonight?).

1859: Spain declared war on the Moors in Morocco.

1952: The complete Jewish Torah was published in English for the first time.

1954: West Germany joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

1954: After Geneva accords conceded Communist control over North Vietnam (Vietnam was divided into North and South by France in its failed effort to make Vietnam a French colony), U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower authorized U.S. training of the South Vietnamese Army (the U.S. replaced the colonial involvement of France in Vietnam). The U.S. "advisors" soon became the primary combatants in that Vietnamese civil war; it ended in the 1970s with North and South Vietnam re-unified into a single nation that had existed for centuries before French and U.S. interference.

1966: The Soviet Union launched Luna 12 to orbit the moon.

1975: The Soviet unmanned spacecraft Venera 9 landed on Venus.

1979: The exiled Shah of Iran (a brutal, undemocratic dictator who had been supported by the U.S. for decades because he was "pro-western") arrived in the U.S. for medical treatment. In response, Iranian revolutionaries invaded the U.S. embassy in Tehran, thereby beginning the Iranian Hostage Crisis, demanding the return of the Shah in exchange for the U.S. diplomats/CIA agents.





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Copyright © Wayne Blank