Thursday, March 25, 2010

Raising of Lazarus

Just before Jesus entered Jerusalem, what we now call Palm Sunday, he stopped in a small village nearby called Bethany. Bethany is very close to Jerusalem, about a days journey. Jesus went to Bethany because his good friend Lazarus had died four days earlier. In the ancient world to be dead for four days really meant that you were dead! There was no chance that he was in a deep coma or really sick, he was really dead.

The story of Lazarus is found in the gospel of John, chapter 11. John tells us that Jesus wept when he heard about the death of his friend. It is one of the few occasions that we know that Jesus cried. After all, Jesus was sad.

When Jesus shouted "Lazarus, come out" John tells us that Lazarus walked out of the grave. The raising of Lazarus reminds us that our God is both the God of the living and the dead, and he has power over both. The story of Lazarus reminds us that we too will be raised from the dead as is promised in the Scriptures.