Did he rise from the dead? Jesus? Well of course! The question of utmost importance is whether Jesus rose from the dead or not.
But, in the week before Jesus was crucified this question was focused on another man, Lazarus.
When Lazarus was mortally ill his sisters sent for Jesus. Jesus purposefully delayed coming to them, knowing that Lazarus would die. Eventually Jesus, at great personal risk, returned to Judea and raised Lazarus from the dead. The resurrection of Lazarus from the dead was an undeniable miracle that made the religious leaders all the more determined to put Jesus to death.
In Jesus raising Lazarus from the grave Jesus' identity, His love, and the promise of eternal life are highlighted for all to see. Consider the excerpts from John chapters 11-12.
4 . . . “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
14,15 So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,
35 Jesus wept.
44 The man who had died came forth, 45 Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him.
12:10-11 But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus.
As we look forward to Easter Sunday, let's remember that Jesus rose from the dead and that through His death and resurrection we have eternal life through believing. Let's also remember that all around us are people who are fearful of dying who need to hear the message of Jesus. Let us, like Jesus, love and care for people by bringing to them the blessed hope that as Jesus rose from the dead, we too have this assurance that all who believe shall be raised from the dead.
Take a few minutes to read John chapters 11-12. Ponder the events around the resurrection of Lazarus. Thank God for salvation that includes resurrection from the dead.
If you find encouragement from this, take a moment to pass it on to others that they too might be encouraged.
Serving with joy,