Read John 11:1-45
11 A man named Lazarus, who lived in Bethany, was ill. Bethany was the town where Mary and her sister Martha lived. 2(This Mary was the one who poured the perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.) 3The sisters sent Jesus a message: “Lord, your dear friend is ill.”
4 When Jesus heard it, he said, “The final result of this illness will not be the death of Lazarus; this has happened in order to bring glory to God, and it will be the means by which the Son of God will receive glory.”
5 Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6Yet when he received the news that Lazarus was ill, he stayed where he was for two more days. 7Then he said to the disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “Teacher,” the disciples answered, “just a short time ago the people there wanted to stone you; and are you planning to go back?”
9 Jesus said, “A day has twelve hours, hasn’t it? So whoever walks in broad daylight does not stumble, for they see the light of this world. 10But if they walk during the night they stumble, because they have no light.” 11Jesus said this and then added, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I will go and wake him up.”
12 The disciples answered, “If he is asleep, Lord, he will get well.”
13 Jesus meant that Lazarus had died, but they thought he meant natural sleep. 14So Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15but for your sake I am glad that I was not with him, so that you will believe. Let us go to him.”
16 Thomas (called the Twin) said to his fellow-disciples, “Let us all go with the Teacher, so that we may die with him!”
Jesus the Resurrection and the Life
17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had been buried four days before. 18Bethany was less than three kilometres from Jerusalem, 19and many Judeans had come to see Martha and Mary to comfort them over their brother’s death.
20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house. 21Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, Lord, my brother would not have died! 22But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask him for.”
23 “Your brother will rise to life,” Jesus told her.
24 “I know,” she replied, “that he will rise to life on the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even though they die; 26and all those who live and believe in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord!” she answered. “I do believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”
28 After Martha said this, she went back and called her sister Mary privately. “The Teacher is here,” she told her, “and is asking for you.” 29When Mary heard this, she got up and hurried out to meet him. 30(Jesus had not yet arrived in the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.) 31The people who were in the house with Mary, comforting her, followed her when they saw her get up and hurry out. They thought that she was going to the grave to weep there.
32 Mary arrived where Jesus was, and as soon as she saw him, she fell at his feet. “Lord,” she said, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died!”
33 Jesus saw her weeping, and he saw how the people who were with her were weeping also; his heart was touched, and he was deeply moved. 34“Where have you buried him?” he asked them.
“Come and see, Lord,” they answered.
35 Jesus wept. 36“See how much he loved him!” the people said.
37 But some of them said, “He gave sight to the blind man, didn’t he? Could he not have kept Lazarus from dying?”
Lazarus Is Brought to Life
38 Deeply moved once more, Jesus went to the tomb, which was a cave with a stone placed at the entrance. 39“Take the stone away!” Jesus ordered.
Martha, the dead man’s sister, answered, “There will be a bad smell, Lord. He has been buried four days!”
40 Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believed?” 41They took the stone away. Jesus looked up and said, “I thank you, Father, that you listen to me. 42I know that you always listen to me, but I say this for the sake of the people here, so that they will believe that you sent me.” 43After he had said this, he called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44He came out, his hands and feet wrapped in grave clothes, and with a cloth round his face. “Untie him,” Jesus told them, “and let him go.”
45 Many of the people who had come to visit Mary saw what Jesus did, and they believed in him.
The raising of Lazarus anticipates the resurrection of Jesus. Although Lazarus’ resurrection is different – because he will get old and die, unlike Jesus who ascends to the right hand of the Father. This story is a powerful reminder of the truth that Christ has defeated death.
Lord, the thought of my own death makes me a bit nervous. But you have authority; even over death. Continue to give me life I pray.