Gospel: The Raising of Lazarus

What would it be like to have your name called by such a powerful voice that it woke you from the deepest “sleep” known to man? To have fallen “asleep” so soundly that it was permanent, or in other words, to have died! And then, to hear your name called with such power, energy, and force that you’d come to life, exit the grave, and find yourself standing in the graveyard. One man, Lazarus, experienced this very thing after having been dead for four days. The napkin around his head would have made it difficult to see, and the tightly wrapped grave clothes would have made it difficult to move, but every one of his five senses told him that he was alive, very much alive.

What Lazarus knew or felt in those first few moments after the Lord Jesus called him back to life, would only be speculation and imagination. What is undisputed is the fact that Lazarus had been dead. His two sisters knew it and the people of the town knew it – he was dead so they buried him. Jesus Christ, God’s Omniscient Son, before He left for Bethany, declared plainly “Lazarus is dead” (John 11:14). The other undisputable fact was that Lazarus was now alive! He was standing, breathing, moving, and engaging with all those present. There was no doubt, he was alive again.

God’s Word says that we are all like Lazarus, dead! Not physically, but spiritually we are dead in our sins. “And you … were dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1). As far as a relationship with the living God, if we are still in our sins, we are considered dead, spiritually dead. In our sins we cannot have a relationship with God nor are we able to please Him. We are dead to God, just like Lazarus was dead to his family. Why does God consider us dead? The Bible makes it abundantly clear, “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). We have all sinned by disobeying God. Romans 5:12 states it simply, “and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Sadly, if we remain dead in our sins, we can never be in God’s presence. In our sins, we will be barred from God’s heaven to a place of eternal separation, called hell.

The good news is that, like Lazarus, we too can have new life by simply hearing the call of Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Lazarus only received natural life, but the sinner can have eternal life. The Lord Jesus prayed, “And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Eternal life can only be found through the acceptance of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. Do you want eternal life? Christ says, “He that heareth My Word and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life” (John 5:24).