Seven Signs in John: 7 – Raising Lazuras

The Lord does not work according to our understanding of time.  Instead, He works according to His own knowledge and power.  Both of which are incomparably greater than our own.  In this last miracle by Jesus, we see him deliberately delay his coming to His sick friend.  If you read the surrounding context, you will see this and begin to wonder why.  However,  if we have learned anything from the previous six miracles of Jesus in the Gospel of John, is that miracles direct our attention to God.  Sometimes we need to be shaken out of our unbelief.

Jesus arrives late to the home of Lazarus, and Jesus’ words are confirmed, Lazarus was dead.  The untold sickness had overcome his body, and Jesus was not there to heal him according to one of Lazarus’ sisters, Martha.  However, Jesus uses this moment to teach something central to the Christian faith and foreshadow another event that He would personal experience in about a week.

John 11:23-27

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 in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

The resurrection seals our hope.  Death is sure and it the anguish it causes is undeniable.  Yet, Christ is the Resurrection and the Life.  Martha looked forward to a future resurrection of the body, but Jesus would extend hers and our understanding of the resurrection.  Jesus stated that at the present time, He is the resurrection and the life.  Perhaps, John now connects an earlier statement to this miracle, and the previous, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).  

Certainly, we look forward to the future resurrection of our corruptible, mortal bodies to immortality and incorruption.  We see this demonstrated in the resurrection of Lazarus.  The sickness that caused the death of Lazarus was no longer apparently with him.  At the beginning of the next chapter, we also see him eating and back to living life.  He would eventually die again, but Jesus’ own resurrection a week later would be the first fruit of a new resurrection that we will experience.  A resurrection where we will never die again.

Jesus stated, however, that presently the resurrection was already with the people.  He demonstrated power over death when He raised Lazarus.  Yet, we also know that Jesus power to give life in the present is spiritual.  We can be raised to new life in the here and now.  Look at what Paul taught on the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

Romans 6:3-12

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  For he that is dead is freed from sin.  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

We can be a new creation through the power of Jesus.  We do not need to wait for eternity for the newness of that God’s new Heaven and Earth to arrive.  It is already here in our souls.  As we come to Christ, we are born again from above.  We are given new life and are given the power to be called the children of God.