Takewaways from the “Raising of Lazarus”

1. Perseverance -Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead is the Bible story summary that teaches us a lesson about persevering through difficult trials

2. Through the raising of Lazarus, Jesus showed the disciples, and the world, that he had power over death. Many people put their faith in him after seeing this miracle.

3. Jesus revealed his compassion for people through a genuine display of emotion. Even though he knew that Lazarus would live, he was still moved to weep with the ones he loved. Jesus cared about their sorrow. He was not timid to show emotion and we should not be ashamed to express our true feelings to God. Like Martha and Mary, we can be transparent with God because he cares for us

4. Don’t prejudge Jesus!. Jesus waited to travel to Bethany because he knew already that Lazarus would be dead and that he would perform an amazing miracle there, for the glory of God. Many times we wait for the Lord in the midst of a terrible situation and wonder why he doesn’t respond more quickly. Often God allows our situation to go from bad to worse because he’s planning to do something powerful and wonderful; he has a purpose that will bring even greater glory to God.

5. The miracle of the raising of Lazarus explains the crowds seeking Jesus on Palm Sunday, and leads directly to the decision of Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin to plan to kill Jesus. Theologians Moloney and Harrington view the raising of Lazarus as a "pivotal miracle" which starts the chain of events that leads to the Crucifixion of Jesus. They consider it as a "resurrection that will lead to death", in that the raising of Lazarus will lead to the death of Jesus, the Son of God, in Jerusalem which will reveal the Glory of God. 

6. Which Lazarus are we ? Sung-Chul Choi reflects "As the resurrection and the life, Jesus calls people forth from their tombs, gives them life, and set them free. Jesus is the resurrection and the life – not at the last day, but already now and here. The spirit of Jesus raises us from our spiritual ‘death’ to newness of life…Are we ‘dead Lazarus’ still in the dark tomb or ‘awakening Lazarus’ walking out of the tomb without death clothing – creeds, dogmas, formulas? Do we see the world with new eyes? Can we see much better now and change what our brain behind, or accepted values, assumptions and ideologies, tells us?…Lazarus’ story is not about a so-called physical resurrection. This is a story about an awakening as well as a new vision or new world view on life. It is an extremely limited and limiting world view that one gets in a dark tomb." 

7. Why did Jesus call Lazarus by name ?

Perhaps, as is often suggested, he had to include Lazarus’ name or all the dead would have come forth!  This is based on John 5:28 – "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice."

8. What happened to Lazarus  after he was raised?

The Roman Catholic, or Western, church holds that Lazarus ended up in France as well, but in this version he gets there while still breathing. Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, along with Saint Maximin and others, are said to have been set upon by "paynims" – not literal pagans in this case, but Jews unconvinced by Christian religious claims – and cast adrift in a boat without oars, sails, or rudder. The Golden Legend, a medieval compilation of saints’ lives by Jacobus de Voragine, recounts that "by the conduct of our Lord they came all to Marseilles," where Lazarus spread the gospel and eventually became bishop. He is said to have survived the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Nero by hiding in a crypt, appropriately enough, but fared worse during subsequent persecution by the emperor Domitian, when he was captured and beheaded. His body was supposedly taken to the city of Autun in eastern France and interred under the cathedral there; his head is said to have remained in Marseilles as a venerated relic.

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