John 11  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 4
John 11
In Bethany lived Martha, her sister Mary, and their brother Lazarus. Jesus loved the family and often resorted to their home. Word came that Lazarus was sick. The message to Jesus was, "Behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick."
In the gospel of John, the Lord emphasized the fact that the work that He was doing was for the glory of God. Thus it was in Lazarus's case; the end result was not death. Jesus abode in the same place two days. Then he told His disciples that they would go into Judea again.
More than once the Jews in Judea sought to stone Him. The disciples said, "And goest Thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him." To walk in the day is constant communion. To walk in the night is to be separated in spirit from God-no communion. Christ was in constant communion. The Lord is telling His disciples in parable form that His path was clear as the day. He was in communion with His Father. He knew what He was to do.
Jesus said, "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep." Jesus said plainly that Lazarus was dead.
Evil is allowed to go unto death-man in his sins. Here we have a picture of Israel-dead. Christ in dying would be done with sin-He had been made sin. The sick may be healed, but there was no remedy for death. Christ might have healed, but then the truth of resurrection would have been missed.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met Him and said to Him, "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." Jesus said unto her, "Thy brother shall rise again." Martha said that she knew that he would rise in the last day, the resurrection day.
Jesus said, "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?" Martha testified that she believed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God who was to come.
Martha called her sister, Mary, saying, "The Master is come, and calleth for thee." Martha had faith, but not in His Person. Seeing Jesus, Mary said, "Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." Jesus seeing Mary and the Jews weeping, groaned in the spirit and was troubled. He said, "Where have ye laid him?" Jesus wept. The Jews said, "Behold how He loved him."
In all the perfection that we have seen in Jesus, this is no exception, in that here we see fully the perfect man in deepest sympathy with the family of Lazarus and his friends. Jesus felt the loss of His friend.
We also see that which was deeper. Jesus groaned in the spirit for the awful havoc and consequences of sin. He alone could view the results of Satan's work on mankind. Even with Lazarus, where there was faith, he succumbed to death.
Resurrection delivers from all that death implies. There can be no resurrection without Jesus-He is the resurrection. Christ died to the life in which sin was found, but there was no sin in Him.
We have come out from a life that no longer exists. We live in the life that put an end to death. Death exists no more in His presence. All the effects of sin on man are destroyed; death is annulled.
Groaning, Jesus came to the grave. He said, "Take ye away the stone." Martha said, "He hath been dead four days." Jesus said, "If thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God."
The stone having been taken away, Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast heard Me.... I said it, that they may believe that Thou hast sent Me." Jesus cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." Lazarus came forth, bound with grave clothes. Jesus said unto them, "Loose him, and let him go."
Lazarus is a picture of Israel who will believe in the Son of God at the end. Grave clothes represent what attaches us to earth in a religious way. They are religious ordinances and all were nailed to His cross. In going back to shadows, we are drawn away with enticing words. 'This is the opposite of living on Christ. His presence is power-obedience brings joy, and this is all you need. Creation came from His hand. By Him all things exist. "1
Council Gathered to Condemn Jesus
Having gathered together the council of Pharisees and rulers, the chief priests ask, "What do we?" If we let this man alone, all will believe on Him, and the Romans will come and take away our place and nation.
Caiaphas spoke as the last Urim and Thummim and prophesied under compulsion. He said, "It is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not... that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad." From that day they took counsel to put Jesus to death.
Jesus went to the wilderness with His disciples. The Jews sought for Jesus and commanded that anyone who knew where He was should report it. The Jews' passover was nigh at hand.
1. J. N. Darby.