THE LAZARUS EVENT
Something drastic changed Lazarus forever!
Why did Jesus leave him to die? Couldn’t He have just healed him to accomplish His purposes?
Jesus never does anything by half measures. Even if it takes time and distress for those involved, He will do a thorough and complete work for our good and His glory.
Many details come together in this Lazarus event. Jesus was destined for the cross. He called it “being glorified”. Raising Lazarus from death was the final event that triggered the religious leaders to move against Him… the final nail in His coffin, if you will.
First get rid of Lazarus because the sight of him made them mad at Jesus. Then kill Jesus because He was the thorn in their flesh.
“When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.”
John 12:9-11 NLT
“Many in the crowd had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and they were telling others about it. That was the reason so many went out to meet him—because they had heard about this miraculous sign. Then the Pharisees said to each other, “There’s nothing we can do. Look, everyone has gone after him!”
John 12:17-19 NLT
Whenever we read snippets about the Bethany siblings, Lazarus is missing. Why? Did he have an issue with Jesus? We don’t know. Perhaps he stayed out of the way because he was not convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. His sisters were fascinated with Jesus but not him!
So, Jesus needed a powerful way to convince Him that He was who He said He was. Then Lazarus became deathly sick….
In tune with the Holy Spirit, Jesus whiles away two more days before He moves to go back to Bethany. The disciples are puzzled. According to Jesus, Lazarus is beyond help, so why go back to the danger zone?
We know well the events that happened on His return to Bethany. Jesus appears to be sure of His every move. Encounters with the sisters, patiently dealing with their rebuke and confusion over His seeming indifference to their desperate cry for help, He’s got it all in hand.
Then the miracle! He brought others back to life, but never one whose body had already begun to return to dust. Lazarus shuffles from the open tomb, still shrouded in grave cloths…
Fast forward to the following week. A massive banquet was held in honour of Jesus…Martha in her element, doing what she loved to do, making magic in her kitchen…Mary where she loved to be, at Jesus’ feet, worshipping Him with her best gift.
Where was Lazarus? Right there at the table, sharing in the celebration meal! What had changed? Lazarus! I wonder, did Lazarus taste the terrible experience of dying outside of faith in Jesus? Did Jesus let him die to put this little family back on track?
Martha, doing what she did best with no pressure on her sister. Mary, utterly convinced and at peace with her Messiah. Lazarus, finally accepting and loving the presence of Jesus in his life. A family united in Jesus, at last!
As I said at the beginning, Jesus doesn’t do things by half measures. He always completes what He started. So, instead of trying to hurry the process or cut it short through unbelief, why not let Jesus do His work unhindered because His outcome is always the best!