“Lazarus, come out!”
Scripture reading for November 1st: John 9-12
My son Marshal and I visited Bethany as a part of our Bible history and geography study trip. At Bethany, we visited a place that was a probably similar to the tomb that Lazarus was laid in. Marshal and I went down a narrow passageway carved out of the rock and entered the musty cave where there were some niches carved in the wall as places to lay the bodies. The tomb was illuminated by an electric light. After reading the Scriptures, I left first and took my camera and called out, “Marshal, come out!” I got a great picture and a real visual of what that might have looked like to those gathered around that tomb with Jesus!
Jesus often stayed at Lazarus’ home in Bethany, less than two miles from the temple in Jerusalem. (John 11:18) Lazarus had two sisters, Mary and Martha, who also loved Jesus and their brother. They had sent word to Jesus that their brother was deathly sick, but Jesus purposely delayed coming. (John 11:3-6) When Jesus arrived, Lazarus was already dead and entombed for four days. Martha came to meet Jesus and told Him that if He had been there, Lazarus would not have died. She also made another key statement, “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:22)
Jesus gave her a Word of knowledge: “Your brother will rise again.” (John 11:23) Martha’s understanding of the resurrection had come from studying the Old Testament Scriptures. (Possibly Daniel 12:1-3, 13) Jesus spoke again to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) This time Martha confessed that she believed that Jesus was the Christ, Son of God!
Jesus went to the tomb and as He stood there, He wept! (John 11:35) The Author of Life was weeping over Lazarus swallowed by the grave and death! He was the “resurrection and life” and was about to demonstrate the power of faith. Jesus was deeply moved a second time and ordered the stone taken away. Martha protested, but Jesus reassured her faith! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith and helps us when our faith falters! (John 11:40) Jesus spoke, “Lazarus, come out!” Lazarus came out, grave clothes and all!