Have you ever walked through a graveyard and thought, “Is something about to reach up from under the ground and grab me . . . ?” And then did you stare at the ground for an awkward amount of time, studying it to see whether that dirt moved, just a little or not? Yeah . . . me neither . . . .
A Man is Laid to Rest.
Did you know that there is an actual biblical account of Jesus Christ from the Bible raising someone from the dead? And I don’t mean a “near death experience,” in which his heart may have stopped for a second. This man had actually been dead for F O U R days! So dead that he had been bound up in mummy-type apparel and sealed in a tomb for those four, oxygen-depleted days! Rigor was set; stench was profound by the time Jesus got there.
The dead man’s name was Lazarus, and we can find this account in the Bible, in John 11. Lazarus was a dear friend of Jesus. In fact, verse 3 tells us that Jesus loved him: “Lord, the one you love is sick.” Lazarus’ sisters had sent this message to Jesus who was a few days’ journey away from Lazarus. It seems as though they were implying, “Lord, we know You are busy healing and teaching a lot of people, but one of Your favorites is sick, and so we’re anticipating that You’re coming right away to heal him, correct?” They were not the only ones who assumed Jesus would drop everything and run to Lazarus’s side. In addition to Lazarus’ sisters and Jesus’s disciples, even the concerned citizens of Bethany, the town where Lazarus lived, expected that Jesus would quickly be on His way.
The Plot Thickens.
In a surprising turn of events, Jesus did not drop everything and run to Lazarus. In fact, He waited until Lazarus was confirmed dead before He even started the long journey to Bethany. Many people were baffled by this decision, despite Jesus constantly filling everyone in on the plan along the way. Jesus explained many times that Lazarus would rise again, and He even explained why He was handling the situation in this particular way. In John 11:41-42 Jesus says while praying to God the Father out loud:
. . . Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.
Whom Does Jesus Love Most?
The beneficiaries of Jesus miraculously bringing Lazarus back to life again were not only Lazarus and his sisters, but the crowd as well. Lazarus was well loved by many in his hometown, so a large number of people came to mourn his death and comfort his sisters. By waiting until the crowds had gathered to mourn Lazarus, Jesus was able to perform this awesome miracle in front them all. Many people were able to see that He was the Son of God and they believed in him! In contrast, if Lazarus had been only sick, many of those people might not have seen Jesus perform a miracle at all. Think of it like this: which situation typically has the larger crowd, someone’s return home after a few days in the hospital or someone’s funeral?
Yes, Jesus loved Lazarus and his family, and His miracle obviously made a life changing impact on them. But Jesus doesn’t have favorites. Jesus died for ALL. Anyone who wants to be saved can be by calling on Jesus.
Jesus Doesn’t Love Just a Few, He In Fact Loves You.
And Jesus loves you so much that He wants to live with you forever in Heaven. When Jesus was on that cross, He had your face pictured in his mind as He was thinking, “I want to do this so that [insert YOUR name] can live with Me forever in paradise.” If He is tugging at your heart right now, don’t wait, pray to Him today! It’s so easy a young child can do it. Satan (THE LIAR) tries to make us think it’s hard, or that we’re too far gone because what we’ve done could never be undone. But friend, it already has been undone. You just have to believe it.
If you’re ready for the joy, peace, and hope that comes with being covered and protected by Jesus, then in your heart or out loud say this little prayer, wherever you are: “Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I’m sorry for the things I have done, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I know that You died for me in order to take the blame for my sins but You rose again, beating even my sins and death. Thank You for doing that. I turn from sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen”
If you have just prayed this prayer that is fantastic news! Please contact us so that we can celebrate with you and help with any questions you may have! And by letting us know, this will help solidify your decision so that if you’re ever uncertain if it really happened, you can remember this day and know that you will spend eternity with Jesus in Heaven.
About the Writer:
Natalie is a stay at home mom to two young boys. Additionally, she occasionally works as an emergency room nurse and is studying to become a Nurse Practitioner. She and her husband have been called into the medical mission field and are excited to see what the Lord has in store for their lives.
You can contact us here: https://www.firstdallas.org/who-is-jesus