The story of the Raising of Lazarus is biblical. The bible is the holy book of Christians and is read by them in church. A biblical story is one that either relates to the bible or is contained in it. These stories often talk of the teachings of Jesus or chronicle his stories and miracles.
Jesus performed very many miracles throughout his lifetime. The last miracle he performed before his resurrection was the raising of Lazarus. This story is found in the new testament of the bible (John 11:1-44). It is a story that talks about the time Jesus lost a dear friend.
Jesus had three close friends: Two sisters called Martha and Mary and one brother Lazarus. He loved them all dearly and spent much time with them. The siblings lived in a town two miles from Jerusalem called Bethany.
Jesus and his 3 friends
One time when Jesus was far away from the small settlement of Bethany preaching about God, he received a message that his dear friend Lazarus was very sick. The sisters, Martha and Mary, were very scared that they might die. They wanted Jesus to come and help their brother.
The messengers rushed to get this message to Jesus and to ask him to go and heal his friend. But when Jesus heard the news he confidently said “Do not worry. This illness would not end in death”. He then stayed for two more days in that town teaching the people about God and his glory.
On the second day, Jesus knew that his beloved friend had passed away. He told the people it was time to go back, even though people in Judea (close to Bethany) were hunting him. He told his followers “My friend has fallen asleep, I must go wake him.”
The disciples believed that Lazarus was simply asleep. So Jesus told them that Lazarus had indeed died and he was not there to heal, but then he assured them that it was okay and it was for the best that they were not there. They were all very confused because they did not understand how someone could wake a person who is dead.
Jesus reached the settlement 4 days after Lazarus had passed. Lazarus had been wrapped in his burial clothes and put in a tomb. When the sisters got to know that Jesus had come, Martha ran to go greet him, but the other sister Mary remained seated in the house.
Martha asked Jesus “If you had come sooner you could have healed my brother, but now that you are here you can ask God to heal him and what you ask of God, God gives you does he not?”
Jesus reassured Martha that her brother will be brought back to life. He told them that whoever believes in him even if dead, would rise. She thought he meant that Lazarus will be alive in heaven, so she went and got her sister.
The Sisters Talking to Jesus
Mary went to greet Jesus and the town settlers followed her. When she saw him she cried and told him that if he had come sooner her brother would’ve been alive. Seeing her in pain Jesus also felt sad and wept. Seeing him cry, people began to wonder why Jesus did not come to heal the man. Seeing this Jesus then asked to see where Lazarus was buried.
The town folk and the sisters took Jesus to Lazarus’ tomb, which was actually a cave. He asked the people to remove the stone covering the cave. The people were shocked.
Martha said “How can we do that? He’s been dead for 4 days, his body would smell!”
To this Jesus said “Just wait and see. If you believe in the glory of God you will see”
The people then removed the stone and to their shock, Jesus called out for the dead man!
He said “Come out Lazarus”
And to everyone’s surprise, a man who had been dead for 4 days stood at the end of the cave alive. Jesus had resurrected him! Jesus asked for Lazarus to be made free of his burial clothes so that Lazarus could move around again.
Raising of Lazarus
This story of the resurrection of Lazarus talks about Jesus bringing his friend back to life and away from the clutches of death. This miracle shows Jesus’ win and control over a universal force that torments humans - Death.
1. Why did Jesus not go and heal his friend before he died?
As Jesus once heard a blind man so he could see again, Jesus could have gone to save his ill friend by healing him, but he did not. He knew that Lazarus would die and come back to life. He wanted people to see the glory of God and have faith in him. Thus, he waited for 2 days and then traveled back, and asked the people to believe in him and in God. Upon seeing their belief and faith he brought Lazarus back to life.
2. Was this the last miracle Jesus performed? What is the significance of the Resurrection of Lazarus?
The resurrection of Lazarus was the last miracle Jesus performed before his crucifixion and his own resurrection. This miracle performed by Jesus holds great significance and is referenced in modern media and pop culture very often. It signified Jesus defeating one universal trouble that all of mankind, irrespective of who or what they are in life, faces - Death. It showed that Jesus was all-powerful and the ultimate savior of mankind as even a force as great as death could not defeat him.
3. What is the story behind the raising of lazarus?
Lazarus was one of Jesus’s closest friends. He was the brother of his two other friends- Martha and Mary. one day when Jesus was out preaching, Lazarus fell ill. The sisters sent for Jesus but he waited two days before coming back. He reached Bethany two days after that and was informed that Lazarus had died. People were angry and asked him why he didn’t come sooner to heal him. He asked them to have faith and take him to Lazarus’s tomb. There he asked for the tomb to be opened and then Lazarus walked out alive. He brought Lazarus back from the dead. It was one of the last miracles he performed before being crucified.