This meditation is Part 1 of a four-part series from the story of the raising of Lazarus from death. In this opening part of the story of Lazarus, Jesus received a message from Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, that their brother (and Jesus’ dear friend) was on his deathbed. They wanted Jesus to come and heal Lazarus so he wouldn’t die.
These words are Jesus’ response to that message. After giving this response to the messenger, Jesus stayed where He was for a couple more days instead of going to Lazarus. His response that the Son of God will receive glory from this event is similar to His response when questioned by His disciples about the man born blind in 9:3 before He healed him. “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ Jesus answered. ‘This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him.'”
Besides, Jesus had recently left Judea because they tried to arrest Him there, and now His friends were asking Him to risk coming back into Judea. But Jesus waited not because He feared arrest but because He wanted to demonstrate the Son of God’s power over death!
What’s significant about the whole story of Lazarus is not that he was raised from the dead, but that Jesus’ ministry actually implemented God’s redemptive plan and purpose for all humanity.
The resurrection of Lazarus was a foreshadowing of Jesus’ own death and resurrection. He was offering some pain relief until He effected a permanent solution for the problem of death by His own death and resurrection.
And, It was important for His disciples to understand and believe He was the resurrection and the life before He actually became the resurrection and life. “Then Thomas said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let’s go so that we may die with Him'” (vs. 16).
Our belief in the reality of resurrection and eternal life through Jesus Christ enables us to persevere in this present life and empowers us to do His work until the day we actually receive the reality of resurrection and eternal life.
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 11:26, HCSB ).
- Resurrection! Part 2: Just Let Him Die – John 11:5-7 (stevesbiblemeditations.com)