Jesus commanded Lazarus to arise and he arose. This did not occur every day and since New testament times has not occurred. The final resurrection of the dead is guaranteed by our Lord. All who have acknowledged Him as Lord and Savior will resurrect to newness of life. This story of Lazarus can aid us in the day by day restoration needed in our lives. Let's analyze the ingredients of this restoration.
The First thing to do: Call upon Jesus. In verse 3, they told Jesus. Whatever you and I need today in the say of restoration power, we must first call upon the Lord. This call was given before Lazarus died. But, the Lord was called because Mary and Martha realized He alone could help.
Secondly: We must learn to focus on truth. Truth must be the starting point and from it we can receive our desired restoration. Verse 4, tells us anew, a truth about the knowledge of the Lord. he has a spiritual knowledge about this sickness. The knowledge expressing God's glory will be highlighted through this experience. Once again, we have a verse of scripture that doesn't agree with the modern health and wealth gospel. This sickness is for the glory of God. Verses 3 and 5, focus on the truth of God's love. A general agreement of Christ's love for Lazarus is stated bu Mary and Martha. John, as the inspired writer, further calls attention to Christ's love for Mary, Martha and Lazarus. In verse 36, the multitude states, "...behold how He loved him." When you need restoration power remember we as His children are loved. Verses 6-7 and 14-15, indicate the wisdom of the Lord. His wisdom told Him to stay 2 days longer. The wisdom of the Lord further expresses itself in the statement,"...so that you may believe,..." One of the purposes in glorifying God is the disciples to believe more firmly. All of these statements relate to truth. We must focus on truth.
Thirdly: We must regularly deal with our fears. Notice
verses 8 and 16. The disciples recall the stones thrown and have a fear
of returning to the immediate area of Jerusalem. But, in verse 16, Thomas
leads the way as he says,"...let us also go, that we may die with him."
This is courage in the face of fear, even if it is pessimistic courage.
These verses indicate the need to deal with our fears. They must be dealt
with if the resurrection power is made available.
First: In my mind, the belief level of this family entered into the choice. Verses 21-17, speak of Martha's belief. Jesus asked her specifically, "...do you believe this? She responded, "Yes, Lord, I have believed that you are the Christ, the Son of the Livoing God,..."
What a confession of faith. But, notice also the faith of Mary expressed in verse 32. She believes the Lord could have kept Lazarus from dying. She believes in the power of Christ. In verse 37, the multitude expresses a similar belief in the healing power of the Lord.
Then the Lord emphasized belief as He says,"...I knew that thou heardest Me always;... There is not a question in our Lord's belief. he does not waver. Then He says,"...I said it that they might believe..." (v. 42) The Lord can, has, and will perform restorations simply in His own power, but the climate of belief here certainly added the calling forth of Lazarus. When you and I need a physical, mental or spiritual restoration, our belief level will be a help or a hinderance.
Secondly: As the restoration takes place notice those who participate with the Lord. There is a stone in front of the tomb. The Lord asked others to remove the stone. The obvious question must come. If the Lord can raise the dead He certainly can move a stone. But, you and I might move stones so the Lord lets others help. Look, also, at verse 44 as Jesus says,"...unbind him, and let him go." Once again, if Jesus can raise the dead he can also unbind him. But, some can remove stones and some can take off bindings and the Lord wants their participation. I know if I had been there and helped to roll that stone or remove those bandages, I would have testified about it. Anyone who questioned the validity of Lazarus' restoration would hear from me. The Lord wanted and received participation in the restoration event.
Thirdly: The Lord called with aloud voice, "... Lazarus come forth." And Lazarus came forth. Years ago I heard a preacher say the reason the Lord said, "Lazarus" was to keep all the other dead people in this graveyard from rising. But, in more recent years, I have heard that this is the only tomb in the area. Never-the-less, the Lord cried out with a loud voice. It is the call of the Lord that gives victory over death.
Dr. Adrian Rogers and his wife, Joyce, have four children. But, one of their children died in infancy. They were saddened by this event and through those days sought the comfort of the Lord. In joy they had a tombstone prepared for this little boy. On this stone they had engraved the wording "Phillip" "...Yes, Lord!"
All of us who believe will experience a similar resurrection. We will arise in Christ because we have acknowledged His lordship. That power is available for a victorious life on the way to the final resurrection. Please follow to point three.
Their hate led them to plot to kill the Lord. (v.53) They also designed to kill Lazarus, (12: 10-11).
One preacher, I heard recently, suggested Lazarus represented the natural, carnal and spiritual man. This description of mankind is given in I Cor. 2:14-3:3.
Lazarus as a dead man might be thought of as a natural man.
In the restored state, bound hand and foot, he could represent the carnal man.
Unbound and loose the spiritual man. This is a helpful analogy. Under
which of these categories do you fall? The restoration power is certainly
there for us to enjoy an unbound spiritual life.
The Lord gave three reasons for this raising of Lazarus:
l. That the Son of God may be glorified. (v.4)
2. That the disciples may believe (v.15)
3. That the crowd may believe (v.42)
The same emphasis exists today. We should glorify the Son, deepen the
belief of disciples and help non-believers to believe. Do you need a restoration?
Then apply these principles to your life.