Sunday Services @ 9:15am & 10:45am
John 12:9-11 – When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.
I’ve read through John’s Gospel many times, but these three verses have always escaped my scrutiny. I’m familiar with them, of course. I’ve read them, but I don’t think I’ve always stopped and considered this story from Lazarus’ point of view.
Lazarus has seen Heaven. He has glimpsed things too wonderful to explain to anyone, and I have to believe that being back on earth is anti-climactic for him. Everyone was happy to see Lazarus – I’m not sure he was happy to see everyone. On one hand, his healing means he will die again, and that won’t be pleasant. And on the other hand, he knows that on the other side of death, there is life. Real life.
My guess is that Lazarus can uniquely understand Paul, who wrote:"For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account." (Phil. 1:21-24)
Having said all of that, the part of these verses that intrigues me most is that Lazarus’ death and new life are such a testimony for Christ that many people are putting their trust in Jesus. And it is such a threat to the enemy that they are plotting to kill Lazarus – again. I’m not sure there is a more profound picture of a life sold out to Christ. In his death, Lazarus brought glory to Christ. Now, he is pointing to Jesus as the one who gave him new life, and he does it with no fear of death whatsoever. After all, He lives each day with the hopeful assurance of something incredible on the other side of life.
Lord, help me to be bold for Christ today. Help me to never be ashamed of Him, and let that be evident to those around me. Guard my mind, my eyes, and my heart. Bless my hands and feet and tongue. In the words that I say today; in the tasks that I perform; in the people with whom I interact, let me bring honor to You above all else.