Raising Lazarus


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John 11:38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

Martha was not into dirt or stink. In the Gospel of Luke [Luke was a doctor]there is the story of Mary sitting at Jesus feet listening intently... and Martha in the kitchen doing all the work herself with sweat and a frown on her brow.... and when she tells Jesus that Mary should be helping her... Jesus told her to get her priorities straight.... He wasn't going to be around long. Now Martha is reminding Jesus that Lazarus has been dead for four days.... and he not embalmed just wrapped in aromatic herbs woven into the wrapping fabric.... no one expected Jesus to bring a dead man back to life. If they had an inkling of that idea, they would have left Lazarus un-wrapped in his own bed.

Jesus brought others back to life. Luke was a doctor and he wrote about it. In Luke 7, Jesus raised the widow's son. Then in Luke 8 Luke talks about how Jesus saved Synagogue Leader's daughter. Those two were "new" deaths. They were not four days old. I learned yesterday the descendants of Jacob [Israel] thought the soul hung around for three days before leaving.... then the stink set in. So they were not at all expecting Jesus to bring him out..... they thought he was too far gone.

So.... God heard every word Jesus said.... of course.... and God heard Him say He was going to Bethany to heal Mary and Martha's brother Lazarus. Lazarus was embalmed.... the tomb was sealed... they were in the process of learning to deal with not seeing him around. Jesus thanked God for letting Him put on a show. He could have walked into the tomb and unwrapped him, healed him of the death wounds [rotting flesh] and walked him out.... but He did this out in the open where anyone and everyone would see the whole thing.... so when someone ran to the Pharisees... they would have no doubt that Jesus raised a dead man and gave him back his life.

This is from the blueletterbible.org site.

Father, I thank You that You have heard Me: Jesus was confident in His relationship with God the Father. The public nature of the prayer was for the sake of Mary, Martha, and the people who are standing by. The power of the prayer was rooted in the private prayer times of Jesus.
“No pomp of incantation, no wrestling in prayer even; but simple words of thanksgiving, as if Lazarus had already returned.” (Dods)​
“During His humiliation on earth, these acts of power were done by Him, not by that glory of His own which He had laid aside, but by the mighty working of the Father in Him, and in answer to His prayer.” (Alford)​
There's a lot of preaching in the commentaries about the "confession and actions" of Mary and Martha. The rolling away of the stone presents a lot of drama. The idea that Jesus was going to bring Lazarus... stinky rotten four day dead Lazarus..... out of the tomb was ludicrous. But they moved the stone away.

I bet when the onlookers went back to the Pharisees to report the "healing" their report included some words that would interpret today to be "Jesus said He could call Lazarus back from the dead.... and those women called His bluff.... and I really expected Him to take off for the hills... no one can bring anyone back from the dead after the soul has left and the stink has set in.... they called His bluff and moved that stone.... and then Lazarus walked out of the tomb.... like a zombie... still wrapped in his burial herbs..... it's insane... you have to do something about this man. He'll have dead men walking everywhere... how are we to do business with Him going around bringing back dead people?"

Jesus has done it now. The Pharisees and the Sadducees could not have Him doing that on their watch. If God wanted someone bringing people back from the tomb.... He would have had them do it.... not this carpenters' son from Nazareth. How dare He.....

Jesus Raised Lazarus for a reason.... He had to prove that a human could survive the grave. Now Jesus could complete the Mission.

The whole mission depended on His ability to survive the tomb..... and now He has proven that a human body can survive the grave.... by Raising Lazarus.