Read John 11:1-57
In some regards, Lazarus was different from the widow’s son (Lk. 7:11-16) and the daughter of Jairus (Lk. 8:40-56), whom Jesus had also raised. He was no more valuable…after all, every person possesses infinite value. But Lazarus was an adult, while the others had been children. Though the others were certainly not outside of Christ’s omniscient knowledge or infinite love, with Lazarus, Jesus had enjoyed a friendship. And perhaps one of the most significant differences was the length of time since their passing. The children had been raised shortly after their passing, but Lazarus? It had been days…four of them to be exact. His body was in the grave. Surely, it had begun to decompose. No matter…nothing is impossible for the Master.
But, perhaps, most unique to this miracle were the repercussions of this milestone event. Just think of its impact:
- Lazarus was able to resume life and be restored to his family! It is only fitting that they would throw a party in Christ’s honor in the next chapter (12:1-8).
- Many eyewitnesses to his raising came to faith in Christ (11:45)! They could no longer dispute the fact that Jesus had powers that came from God and that He was the long-awaited Messiah.
- Some Jewish leaders began forming concrete plans to execute Jesus when the time was right (11:46-53)! They were concerned that they would not only lose their following, but also their national identity. Eliminating Jesus would remove that risk.
- Jesus went “under cover” (11:54). We know that He did not run from the cross, but He certainly wanted to make sure that the cross came at the right time…when His ministry was complete.
- Many people turned to Christ as a result of Lazarus’ life and testimony (12:11). Even for those who had not seen the actual miracle, this man’s life and story were powerful and convincing.
- Chief priests began to plan for Lazarus’ death as well (12:9, 10). Just as the Jewish leaders wanted to eliminate the miracle worker, so too they wanted to eliminate the miracle that had been worked.
The raising of this man was a polarizing event that drove people to be endeared to the Savior or to be antagonistic to Him. Which will it do for you?