Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Death of Lazarus

Read John 11:1-16.

We have learned that Jesus had power over sickness.  Now we see that He had power over death also.  Today we know that doctors are trained to help sick people by giving them medicine.  But no one has ever learned how to bring a dead man back to life.  Jesus has this power within Him because He is God, the giver of all life.

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived in Bethany, about two miles from Jerusalem.  When Lazarus became sick, his sisters sent a message to Jesus.  Jesus did not go as soon as He received the message.  This was not because He did not love Lazarus.  It was because He knew what He was going to do.  He knew that bringing Lazarus back to life would make people praise God more than just healing him of the sickness.

When Jesus said He would go to Bethany, His disciples tried to stop Him.  Jesus’ life had been in danger many times in Jerusalem, and the disciples were afraid for the Master.

Jesus again spoke of Himself as the Light of the world, saying that those who followed Him would not stumble in the darkness.

Jesus The Resurrection and the Life

Read John 11:17-27.

By the time Jesus got to Bethany, Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days.  Martha ran to meet the Lord, saying, “If you had been here, Lord, my brother would not have died!”  She said also that she knew God would give Jesus whatever He asked.

We see how Jesus led this woman to a greater belief in Himself.  He first told her that her brother would rise again.  Martha knew this, but she thought it would be in the resurrection of all the dead at the Judgment Day.

I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me will live, even though he dies (John 11:25).

Those who believe in Jesus will never die spiritually.  And even if their bodies do die, they will live again when the time comes for their resurrection.

Martha said she believed that Jesus was the Son of God.  Then Jesus went with Martha and others to Lazarus’ grave.  In those days the dead were usually buried in caves or in holes in the side of rocky hills.  The dead body was placed inside and the opening to the cave was covered by a big rock.

Jesus Weeps

Read John 11:28-37.

Jesus is a real friend who cares when we have problems and sorrows.  He wept with Martha and Mary and their friends but later He turned their sorrow to joy.  We can take our grief to Him and find comfort.

Does Jesus Care

Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth or song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?

Does Jesus care when I’ve said “goodbye”
To the dearest on earth to me,
And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks,
Is it aught to Him? Does He see?

O yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary,
The long night dreary,
I know my Saviour cares.

- Frank E. Graeff

Lazarus Brought to Life

Read John 11:38-44.

What would Jesus do?  All those standing near must have wondered.  First Jesus prayed, thanking God for hearing Him.  Then He commanded, “Lazarus, come out!”  The dead man heard the voice of Jesus and came back from death to life.

This is a picture of the time when Jesus will call for all the dead to come out of their graves.  The resurrection will be in two parts.  Those who are saved will rise first.  Much later, the unsaved will come back to life and be judged for their sins.

The time is coming when all the dead will hear his voice and come out of their graves: those who have done good will rise and live, and those who have done evil will rise and be condemned (John 5:28-29).

For just as all people die because of their union with Adam, in the same way all will be raised to life because of their union with Christ.  But each one will be raised in proper order: Christ, first of all; then, at the time of his coming, those who belong to him (1 Corinthians 15:22-23).

The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were over (Revelation 20:5).

The Plot Against Jesus

Read John 11:45-57.

The miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead was reported to the religious leaders.  Some of the leaders did not believe that there would ever be a resurrection at all.  All the leaders feared that trouble would come to them from the Roman government, and they agreed to have Jesus put to death.  Caiaphas the High Priest said it would be better for one man to die than for the whole nation to be destroyed.

Take the quiz

Quiz Instructions

Now take this short quiz.

1. When Lazarus’ sisters sent for Jesus, why didn’t He go at once to heal His friend?

a) Jesus was too busy to worry about one sick man.

b) Jesus was afraid to go to Jerusalem because His life was in danger.

c) Jesus knew that Lazarus would die, but this would be a chance to show the power of God.

2. What did Jesus tell Martha?

a) That He was the resurrection and the life.

b) That Lazarus would rise at the last resurrection.

c) That there was no such thing as a resurrection.

3. How long had Lazarus been buried?

a) Two days

b) Four days

c) Three days

4. Read John 11:25 and fill in the blanks. Jesus told her, "I am __________ and _______.* Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.

a) The Resurrection, The Life

b) The One, Only

g) The Eternal One, Savior

5. Read verse 27 and fill in the blanks. “Yes, ____________!” she answered. “I do believe that you are the _________________, the _________________ of _____________, who was to come into the world.

a) Lord, Messiah, Son, God

b) Sir, Savior, Lamb, God

6. What did Jesus do about Lazarus?

a) He wept for Lazarus’ death and that was all He could do.

b) He called for Lazarus to come out of the grave, and Lazarus came back to life.

c) He comforted Mary and Martha by telling them that their brother would be raised at the last resurrection.

7. Will all people who have died be raised from the dead?

a) No, not all people will be raised from the dead – only good people.

b) No, not all people will be raised from the dead – only bad people who will go to hell.

c) Yes, all people will be raised from the dead: the good will be raised to life, and the bad will be condemned.

8. What did the leaders think about Lazarus’ resurrection?

a) They praised God.

b) They decided that Jesus must die.

c) They did not believe that Lazarus had been dead.

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