“Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on me, though he die, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth on me shall never die.”
The raising of Lazarus from the dead is one of the most captivating accounts in all the Bible. It is also one of the most profound in its doctrinal implications. Lazarus and his two sisters, Martha and Mary, were close friends with Jesus. When Lazarus suddenly became ill, his sisters immediately sent word to Jesus, hoping that He would come and heal him (John 11:1-3). The Lord deliberately delayed visiting, knowing that Lazarus’ condition would worsen to the point of death. He also knew that God would use Lazarus’ miraculous restoration to glorify Himself and to bring many people to faith. Today’s verse passage is the interaction between grieving Martha and the Lord Jesus. The Lord reminded her that believers are guaranteed physical resurrection from the dead. Martha expressed her faith in this promise, but seemed to understand resurrection as something that will occur to both the good and the bad, “at the last day.” The Lord reminded her that the believer’s victory over death is not based upon, centered around or determined by a schedule, but by the Son of God Himself. He is the resurrection and the life. The Lord met Lazarus’ grieving family at the tomb and commanded that the stone covering the mouth of the tomb be moved. Mary protested, “Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.” The Lord replied, “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou believedst, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” (John 11:39-40). In faith those gathered there rolled the stone away from the tomb. After a prayer to His Father, the Lord Jesus commanded Lazarus to come out of the tomb. To everyone’s amazement, “he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave-clothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go” (John 11:44). God used this stupendous miracle to bring many to faith (John 11:45; 12:11). The story of Lazarus in some ways mirrors our own redemptive histories. We too were, in a sense, dead but were raised to life (Ephesians 2:1-7). As Lazarus was a living testimony to the love, grace, and matchless power of God, our own regenerated lives are to be an irresistible witness to these things as well. Almost everywhere we look in the world, from governments to media to the entertainment industry, we see spreading, deepening corruption. The story of Lazarus reminds us that corruption, in all its forms, will be overwhelmed one day with cleansing, restoration, and newness of life.
God bless you,