John 11:1-44- The Resurrection and the Life
Explanation- We come now to arguably Jesus’ greatest miracle during His earthly ministry. Let us first notice Christ’s absolute control over the entire event. He is informed that Lazarus is sick, yet He does not immediately go to his aid. He knows what He is going to do and therefore waits until Lazarus has been dead for several days before making His appearance. This He did to display the resurrection power of God that was at work within Himself. It was not enough that Jesus would simply go and heal Lazarus while he was alive and sick; Christ sought to display His glory for His disciples to see.
When Jesus arrives at the scene He is met by Martha who is already in mourning. Notice the remarkable faith of this woman. She is yet in great mourning for her departed brother, yet she is entirely confident in Christ. She may not understand exactly what He will do, but she is convinced that whatever He asks of the Father will be done. Even still, when Jesus tells her that her brother will rise again she interprets this to mean that he will rise in the final resurrection, rather than in the present moment. This is similar to the account in Acts 12 when Peter is miraculously released from prison by an angel of the Lord. All the meanwhile the other disciples are gathered together praying and when Peter comes to the door and it is revealed to the other disciples by Mary, they tell her she is out of her mind. These men of faith, who more than likely had just been praying for their dear brother Peter, hear that he is at the door and they immediately have doubt. Such can be our faith at time. Although it may be matured and well-placed, the Lord is always going to provide means by which it may increase.
Another beautiful truth that we find is Christ’s response when He is brought to the tomb of Lazarus. Although He knows what He is about to do and knows that He holds the power to raise this man from the dead despite him having passed four days prior, Christ still weeps with those who are weeping. His great compassion is put on display. This is a beautiful mystery, namely that Christ is the Author of this entire account. He knows every intimate detail and it was He who had afore planned this event in eternity past; yet He still has compassion and weeps.
Christ gives an authoritative command. ‘Lazarus, come out.’. At this, the once dead man steps out of the tomb. What awesome power! We have seen that the winds and the waves obey Christ’s command, that the deaf hear, the lame walk, and the blind receive their sight, but it is here we fully see the authority that Christ has over death and resurrection as well. His very voice raises the dead and causes them to rise.
Application- As we look to this text, we see the awesome power of Christ on display. Who else can command that which is dead and rotting to rise up and live? The same Jesus who raised Lazarus from the dead is the one who will not let our souls see corruption. Surely He will raise us up to be with Him, for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. As sure as Jesus saves, He will indeed raise! Let our faith increase as we meditate on the awesome power of God. Death truly has lost its sting and the grave has no victory. Those who are in Christ Jesus will again see life even after death. The eternal accompaniment of the Triune God awaits us in the end. In this we have hope and in this we find rest.