Here is the truth of the matter. Sin brings death. Adam brought death on mankind with his sin in the garden. But Jesus brings life. His person, sacrifice, and resurrection bring life. This life defeats death.
Today we will look at the seventh and final sign performed by Jesus and recorded in John’s Gospel. This sign is the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
Before we do, I would like to take one minute and review the other six signs.
- We started in episode 26 with Jesus changing the water into wine.
- In episode 27 Jesus healed the nobleman’s son.
- In episodes 28 and 29 Jesus heals the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda
- In episode 30 Jesus feeds the 5000 and in episode 31 He walks on water.
- And in episode 32 Jesus healed the man born blind.
Each sign declares and aspect of Jesus. Each reveals a portion of His glory.
Today we will see clearly that Jesus gives life. Or another way to say it is Jesus defeats death.
Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Jesus in verse four declares what will soon happen. The sickness of Lazarus will not result in permanent death. Rather, something special will happen so that Jesus may be glorified.
Jesus waits for two more days after hearing of the illness. Why did He wait? To allow Lazarus to die and to be dead for a number of days.
You can see this intention in verses 11-14
These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.
14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him.”
So Jesus and the 12 travel to Bethany, which is about 2 miles from Jerusalem.
John 11:17-25 with my comments
17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.
(So Lazarus must have died shortly after the sisters first sent word to Jesus. As was the custom, he was buried immediately.)
18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles[a] away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
20 Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house.
(Remember, Martha was the lady of action and Martha the contemplative one.)
21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
(Martha greets Jesus with a statement of faith. But I do not think that Martha expects Jesus to raise Lazarus from the dead.)
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
So here is the lesson for today. Jesus is the giver of life. He himself is the resurrection and the life. When someone believes on Jesus Christ, their once dead spirit is made alive. And the believer’s spirit will never ever die. When a believer in Christ dies, their spirit and of course soul lives on. The body is put in the grave. But when the end comes, even that body is resurrected as a new eternal body. And is joined with the believer to live forever.
When a believer in Christ dies, their spirit and soul live on. The body is put in the grave. But when the end comes, even that body is resurrected as a new eternal body. And is joined with the believer to live forever.
Martha responds to this great I am statement with “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
Let’s pick up at verse 32 when Mary comes on the scene.
Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?”
They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”
35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”
37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”
Well, Jesus could’ve done just that, but He is about to do something even more amazing.
But before I go to the actual raising of Lazarus I want to take a stab at answering a question. This question concerns verse 35, “Jesus wept.” Why did Jesus weep?
I think to answer that we have to consider verses 33, “Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.”
In the wording “groaned in spirit” means He was angry. And the follow-on word “troubled” is just that, agitated.
Why was Jesus angry and agitated? And why did He weep?
Mankind was not created for this moment. We were not supposed to be shackled by sin, blinded by Satan, left to live out a life only to die in our sins.
Sin and Satan blinded most of these people from seeing Jesus as God. Even Mary and Martha are lost in the hopelessness of the moment. And standing before all of them is the Resurrection and the life. But most are blind to this fact. And so because of all of this, Jesus is angry, He is agitated, and He weeps.
Now let’s go to verse 43 and watch as Jesus gives life to Lazarus.
43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
Praise God! What a moment. The Great I am, the Resurrection and the Life. Called Lazarus back from the dead. Life re-entered his body. His decayed flesh was made alive again. His dead muscles were empowered again.
A day is coming my friend, in the near future, when Jesus will call all believers from the grave. Their long dead bodies will come back to life. The rotten flesh, the dead muscles, will become new. And we will live forever in this new body in the presence of God.
I wish I could tell you that all who witnessed this event celebrated and believed. But this was not the case. There were some who responded with hate. Just know this. Those that possess death hate life. And the agents of death will do whatever they can to kill life.
And kill they will. They will soon take Jesus and hang him on a cross. But three days later, Jesus will rise again. And the Resurrection and the life will fully and forever defeat death.
That concludes this study on the glory of Jesus in the seven signs performed by the Savior and recorded in John.
I will not release a podcast for the next week. But on the 14th of September Faith in the Valley will return with a new study. We will move through the Old Testament looking for Christ. This will be chronological in design. Starting in Genesis and heading toward the Gospels.
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