Sunday, April 5, 2015

Why Jesus Delayed: Lazarus

"When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 5Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was." (John 11: 4-6)

We have to remind ourselves in reading about this resurrection, that Jesus loved Lazarus, too.

And yet, Jesus allowed him to die.


"For the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby."

Now, when Jesus is glorified, guess what? We are glorified with Him!

"1Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
2For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee." (Isaiah 60: 1-2)
"23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?" (Romans 9:23-24)
Many people forget what happened to Lazarus, during and after he was raised from the dead:
"43And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go." (John 11: 43-44)
Notice John writes "he who was dead. . " Jesus spoke, for He is the Resurrection and the Life, and Lazarus came out. Many people ignore the fact that the brother was bound hand and foot. Jesus drew him out, floating from the tomb.
Right away, Jesus was glorifying Lazarus, who in turn would glorify Jesus all the more:
"45Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. 46But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done." (John 11: 45-46)
Many of the Jews would not have believed on Jesus if He had healed Lazarus only from his illness.
Lazarus was greatly blessed, too:
"1Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 2There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him." (John 12: 1-2)

John repeats that Lazarus was dead, and Jesus raised Him from the dead. Even today, many have a hard time letting Jesus' life-giving power settle into our hearts.
Jesus is in the business of raising dead things to life all the time!
In  John 12, there is  a picture of the rest we receive in Christ, where we are served, just as Lazarus sat at the table, and received glory and honor because Jesus had raised him from death to life.

This is the life which Jesus seeks to give all of us:
"5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." (Psalm 23: 5)
"The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psalm 110: 1)
"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  (Ephesians 2:4-6)

Just as Lazarus was resurrected from the dead, and so was Jesus, so too we are like Him, having His life (Colossians 3: 1-4):
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17)
Lazarus' witness as a testimony to Jesus our Life and Resurrection continued long after he was raised from the dead:
"9Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. 10But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; 11Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus." (John 12: 9-11)
The Jews of that time not only came to see Jesus, but to see Lazarus, to see what Jesus did.
Today, we need to see Jesus, and to see what He did for us. He has taken us from death to life, and with Him we reign in life, His! (Romans 5: 15-17).

Now, this discussion follows from one question: why does God allow delays? Why did Jesus delay in healing Lazarus?

Jesus does not just want to solve a few problems in our lives. He wants us to see that He is Life, and providing all things for us, and He wants us to be glorified, that in the end we glorify Him and bring many more to believe on Him.
Happy Easter!

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