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The Lazarus Miracle: Did Jesus Really Raise Him From the Dead?

Discover the truth behind the miraculous resurrection of Lazarus! Uncover the biblical evidence that Jesus brought a man back from the dead.

Last Updated:
December 25, 2023
  •  
8 Minutes

Who Was Lazarus?

Lazarus was a man who lived in the town of Bethany. He was not just any man, but rather the brother of Martha and Mary. Lazarus shared a close bond with his sisters and a special relationship with Jesus.

Lazarus fell gravely ill, a fact that deeply troubled his sisters. They knew Jesus had the power to heal, so they sent word to him, pleading for his assistance. Upon hearing of his friend's condition, Jesus greatly loved and concerned for Lazarus and his sisters.

However, before Jesus could arrive, Lazarus succumbed to his illness. He died and was buried in a tomb. When Jesus finally arrived in Bethany, Martha went out to meet him and expressed her belief that Lazarus would not have died had he been there. Filled with compassion, Jesus assured her that Lazarus would rise again.

Jesus then proceeded to the tomb, where he commanded Lazarus to come out. And miraculously, Lazarus did just that, returning to life after being dead for four days.

This incredible event demonstrated Jesus’ ability to perform miracles and his deep affection for Lazarus and his sisters. Lazarus was a beloved friend and follower of Jesus, and his story is a powerful testament to the love and compassion that Jesus had for those around him.

Background of Lazarus’s Death

Lazarus's death is a significant event in the Bible, deeply intertwined with his relationship with Jesus and the desperate request brought to him by his sisters, Mary and Martha.

Lazarus was a beloved friend of Jesus, and it was well-known that he had a close relationship with him. However, Lazarus fell gravely ill, causing his sisters, Mary and Martha, to worry for his life. Aware of Jesus' miraculous abilities, they sent word to him, imploring him to come and heal their brother.

The sisters' request was a testament to their trust in Jesus and their faith in his power to heal. They believed that if Jesus could arrive in time, Lazarus could be saved from death's clutches. However, by the time Jesus received the message, Lazarus had already succumbed to his illness and had been lying dead in a tomb for four days.

The background of Lazarus's death highlights the deep emotional connections and belief in Jesus' abilities. It paved the way for one of Jesus' most profound miracles and demonstrated his compassion and power over death. This event foreshadowed Jesus' resurrection and emphasized the importance of faith in him as the ultimate conqueror of death.

The Bible Story of Jesus Raising Lazarus

The Bible has incredible stories that teach important lessons about faith, hope, love, and miracles. One such story is the remarkable account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. This powerful tale showcases Jesus' divine power and compassion, revealing his ability to bring life and hope into the darkest situations. By examining this extraordinary event, we can better understand Jesus' role as the Son of God and the significance of his resurrection. Let us explore the Bible story of Jesus raising Lazarus and unravel the profound message it holds for all believers.

Luke 7:11-17

In Luke 7:11-17, we are presented with the account of the resurrection of a widow's son in the town of Nain. Jesus, accompanied by a large crowd, arrives at the city gate just as a funeral procession occurs. The deceased individual is revealed to be the only son of a grieving widow. The sight deeply moves Jesus, and He approaches the bereaved mother, expressing His incredible compassion for her.

Jesus tells the widow not to weep, and then approaches the open coffin. With a simple command, He tells the young man to arise. Miraculously, the lifeless body responds to Jesus' words, and the young man sits up, thus being restored to life. The crowd, filled with awe and amazement, is struck by this undeniable demonstration of Jesus' power and authority.

This extraordinary event showcases Jesus' compassion for the suffering and His ability to conquer death itself. The Son of God, moved with empathy, reaches out to the widow, providing physical healing and immense comfort and hope. The powerful scene draws attention from the gathered crowds, leading them to glorify God and spread the news of this miraculous resurrection throughout the region.

In less than 200 words, this account of the resurrection of the widow's son in Nain vividly portrays Jesus as a source of compassion and a conqueror of death, capturing the attention and admiration of the witnessing crowds.

What Was the Response of the Religious Leaders?

The response of the jewish leaders to Jesus' raising of Lazarus from the dead in John 11 was filled with opposition and concerns. The religious leaders, who had previously opposed Jesus and his teachings, were shocked and disturbed by this incredible miracle. Jesus’ growing popularity had threatened them and were afraid that his powers could incite rebellion among the people, leading to Roman intervention. They feared the Romans would see Jesus as a political threat and crack down on them, jeopardizing their authority and status.

Instead of acknowledging the awe-inspiring miracle, the religious leaders became more driven in their opposition towards Jesus. They were more concerned about protecting their power and maintaining their influence over the people. Their response was not one of faith or recognition of Jesus' divinity, but rather a further entrenchment in their skepticism and plotting against him.

The religious leaders were blinded by their own insecurities and personal interests, unable to see the truth and significance of Jesus' acts. Their response to Lazarus' resurrection demonstrated their lack of faith and their focus on temporal concerns rather than spiritual matters. In their failure to understand and accept the work of God through Jesus, they ultimately sealed their fate and paved the way for Jesus' crucifixion.

The Significance of Jesus Raising Lazarus

The raising of Lazarus from the dead by Jesus holds significant theological and historical importance. This miracle showcased Jesus' power and glory, solidifying his identity as the true Messiah. It confirmed that he possessed divine authority over life and death.

Raising Lazarus after he had been dead for four days was an unprecedented and remarkable miracle. Previous prophets had performed resurrections, but none had accomplished such a feat after a prolonged period. This miracle exceeded any demonstration of power witnessed before.

Jesus intentionally delayed his arrival to Bethany to allow Lazarus' death and burial. By doing so, he ensured that there would be no doubt about the authenticity of his miracle. Four days in the grave was undeniable evidence of Lazarus' physical death, making his resurrection even more miraculous.

By raising Lazarus, Jesus displayed his superiority over previous prophets and scribes. His power went beyond healing the sick or casting out demons; he had dominion over death. This mighty display of divine authority made people believe in his identity as the long-awaited Messiah, fulfilling prophecies that were foretold centuries before.

Why Did Jesus Wait 3 Days to Raise Lazarus?

The waiting period of three days before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead holds significant meaning in the biblical narrative. Jesus deliberately allowed Lazarus to remain dead for three days to emphasize the miracle’s magnitude and display his divine power.

By waiting three days, Jesus demonstrated that Lazarus' death was not a temporary state, but a complete and irreversible reality. This enhanced the impact and credibility of the miracle, as it eliminated any doubt or skepticism that could arise if Lazarus had been raised immediately after death.

Moreover, the waiting period symbolizes the victory over death that Jesus would accomplish through his resurrection. Just as Lazarus remained dead for three days before experiencing new life, Jesus would also lay in the tomb for three days before triumphantly rising from the dead. The three-day period thus foreshadows Jesus' resurrection and underscores the power and authority he holds over life and death.

What Does This Miracle Tell Us About Jesus’ Power Over Death?

The resurrection of Lazarus and the appearances of Jesus after his death hold immense significance in demonstrating Jesus' power over death and its implications.

Firstly, the resurrection of Lazarus showcases Jesus' authority to conquer death. Lazarus had been dead for four days, and Jesus, through His divine power, called him out from the tomb, restoring him to life. This miraculous event exhibits that Jesus can command life even in the face of death, proving His authority over death itself.

Furthermore, the appearances of Jesus after His resurrection further reinforce His power over death. He appeared to His disciples and others, revealing Himself as a living, resurrected being. These appearances affirmed His victory over death, establishing Him as the Son of God who can conquer the grave.

The resurrection of Lazarus and the post-resurrection appearances demonstrate Jesus’ power over death and its implications. Firstly, they solidify the Christian belief in the resurrection of the dead. They offer hope to believers that death is not the end, but a gateway to eternal life. Secondly, Jesus' power over death reveals His ability to grant forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation to all who believe in Him. These events point to Jesus as the source of life and the only way to overcome the inevitability of death.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after being declared dead is an event of incredible significance and marks a miraculous occurrence. This groundbreaking event is central to Christian faith, serving as a cornerstone of belief. Jesus' resurrection defied the laws of nature and affirmed his divine power and the fulfillment of prophecies.

The fact that Jesus rose from the dead on the third day demonstrates the miraculous nature of this event. It goes beyond human comprehension and challenges the limits of our understanding. The resurrection conquered death and validated Jesus' claims of being the Son of God. This incredible feat resonates with believers today, giving them hope for eternal life and assurance of their faith.

The significance of Jesus' resurrection extends beyond its miraculous nature. It signifies the ultimate victory over sin and death, providing a way for humanity to experience reconciliation with God. It symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness and catalyzes spiritual transformation. The resurrection of Jesus is not just a historical event; it is a powerful testament to God's love and redemption.

 

References

John 11:1-45

John 11:25-26

John 11:6

John 11:11

John 11:4

 

Frequently asked questions

How long did Lazarus remain dead before Jesus raised him?

  • Lazarus was dead for four days before Jesus raised him.
  • This long period of death emphasizes the significance of his resurrection.
  • It proves that Lazarus was beyond human help and only Jesus could bring him back to life.
  • This miraculous act not only strengthened Jesus' disciples' faith but also showed the power of God.
  • It reminds us of Jesus' power over death and gives us hope for our resurrection.

Did Lazarus experience any physical or mental changes after being raised from the dead?

  • Lazarus experienced drastic physical and mental changes after being raised from the dead
  • He was brought back to life and filled with hope, joy, and a renewed sense of purpose
  • This miraculous event was a powerful testament to the glory of God
  • The resurrection forever changed Lazarus
  • The shock and awe of this experience must have been immense

What was the reaction of Lazarus' sisters, Mary and Martha, when they saw him alive again?

  • Mary and Martha were overcome with joy, relief, and astonishment when they saw Lazarus alive again.
  • It was a testimony of Jesus' power and love, strengthening their faith in Him.
  • Those who witnessed the incredible event were forever changed by it.
  • It was a clear sign of Jesus' power as the resurrection and the life.
  • The miracle of Lazarus' resurrection was an unforgettable event.

What became of Lazarus?

According to church tradition and historians, after Lazarus was resurrected from the dead by Jesus, he became a devoted follower of Christ. He played a significant role in the early Christian community. Church tradition suggests that Lazarus was present during the execution of Jesus and witnessed His ascension.

It is believed that Lazarus may have met the Apostle Paul and Barnabas during their missionary journey to Cyprus. They may have encountered each other in Salamis, where Paul and Barnabas initially began their mission. It is said that Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha provided support and hospitality to the Apostles during their stay in Cyprus.

Church tradition indicates that Lazarus was eventually ordained as the first Bishop of Kition, a city located in modern-day Cyprus. His position as a bishop meant that he had significant influence and authority within the early Christian community.

What Did the People Do When They Saw Jesus Raise Lazarus?

  1. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, which astounded and overwhelmed the people who witnessed it.
  2. The crowd's reactions were varied, with some being deeply moved and others filled with disbelief and anger.
  3. Word of the event quickly spread, creating an atmosphere of excitement and amazement.
  4. The resurrection of Lazarus caused many in the crowd to reassess their beliefs and preconceived notions about Jesus.
  5. Witnessing the miracle was a turning point for many, illuminating the truth of Jesus' divine nature and challenging the crowd's earlier intentions to destroy him.

Why Didn't Jesus Heal Lazarus Right Away?

In the biblical account of Lazarus' illness and subsequent resurrection, Jesus purposefully delays His trip to heal Lazarus, which raises questions about His decision. One possible explanation is that Jesus, being omniscient, knew that His delay would bring greater glory to God. By waiting, Jesus allowed Lazarus' condition to worsen, making his resurrection even more miraculous and awe-inspiring. This delay also served as a teaching moment, illustrating Jesus' power over death and reinforcing His message of faith and trust in God.

Jesus' delay allowed for Lazarus' condition to deteriorate to the point where it was beyond human intervention. After four days, Lazarus' body would have begun to decompose, making his resurrection all the more astonishing and confirming the miracle. This emphasized the power and divinity of Jesus, strengthening the faith of those who witnessed the miracle.

Why Did Jesus Weep over Lazarus?

  • In the biblical account of Lazarus' death, Jesus wept not only because of his friend's passing but also because of the lack of faith and hope in the hearts of the unbelievers.
  • Jesus was moved by the skepticism and shattered expectations of those surrounding him, despite knowing he was about to perform a miraculous resurrection.
  • Jesus' tears showcased his humanity and profound compassion, as he empathized with the grief and sorrow experienced by Lazarus' loved ones.
  • Through his tears, Jesus reminded us of his deep love for humanity and his willingness to go to incredible lengths to bring hope and eternal life.
  • His tears also revealed his infinite compassion, reminding us that he is a God who fully enters into our joys and sorrows.

Who Did Jesus Raise From The Dead?

The three people Jesus raised from the dead were the widow's son of Nain (Luke 7:11-17), Jairus' daughter (8:40-56), and Lazarus (John 11:1-44).

Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus, was raised from the dead in a village near Jerusalem. Lazarus had been dead for four days before Jesus arrived and called him out of the tomb. This miraculous event deeply moved those who witnessed it and reinforced their belief in Jesus' divine power.

The son of the widow of Nain was another individual resurrected by Jesus. As Jesus approached the city of Nain, he encountered a funeral procession for the son of a widow. Touched by her grief, Jesus stopped the procession and raised the young man back to life, restoring him to his mother.

Jairus' daughter was the third individual Jesus raised from the dead. Jairus, a synagogue leader, approached Jesus in desperation, asking him to heal his dying daughter. Despite the crowd's skepticism, Jesus went to the girl's bedside and raised her to life, leaving her parents shocked.

These resurrections demonstrate Jesus' authority over death and his compassion for those in despair. They highlight his ability to bring hope and restoration to the lives of those he touched.

Why Did Jesus Raise The Dead?

  • Jesus' ability and willingness to raise the dead demonstrated his divine nature and authority as the Son of God.
  • It also revealed his compassion and love for humanity, as he sought to alleviate suffering and conquer death.
  • The resurrection of the dead symbolized spiritual renewal and the promise of eternal life for believers.
  • Jesus' miracles showed his identification with human suffering and his willingness to bring healing and restoration.
  • The raising of Lazarus prefigured Jesus' triumph over death and the hope of eternal life for all who believe in him.

How did the people in Bethany and the surrounding area react to Lazarus being raised from the dead?

  • When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, it profoundly impacted the people of Bethany and the surrounding area.
  • Many were in awe of Jesus' power and authority and began to believe in him as the Son of God.
  • This event sparked a wave of faith and hope among those who witnessed it first-hand.
  • It was a turning point that changed the lives of those who witnessed it.
  • The spiritual implications of this miraculous event were far-reaching.

Is there any historical evidence or documentation outside the Bible supporting the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead?

  • No historical evidence or documentation outside of the Bible supports the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead.
  • The Bible is the only source for this miraculous event.
  • Despite the lack of extra-biblical sources, the event remains significant.
  • Lazarus' resurrection continues to inspire and strengthen believers' faith.
  • It is a powerful testament to the love, compassion, and divine power of Jesus.

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Christian Pure Team
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