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Lazarus

One of the greatest miracles that Christ performed on this earth was the resurrection of Lazarus from the grave, depicted in the gospel of John Chapter 11. By doing so, many of the people’s eyes were opened and they believed that Christ was in fact God. So who was this Lazarus?

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Lazarus

  1. 1. Miracle in the Spotlight Lazarus & the Resurrection BY: ELISABETH C. TUNSTALL
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION ❖ One of the greatest miracles that Christ performed on this earth was the resurrection of Lazarus from the grave, depicted in the gospel of John Chapter 11. By doing so, many of the people’s eyes were opened and they believed that Christ was in fact God. So who was this Lazarus? He was the brother of Martha and Mary and resided in the town of Bethany. The bible spoke of how Christ loved them greatly.
  3. 3. LAZARUS DIES ❖ When Lazarus fell ill, word was given to Christ. Yet, He did not immediately come to his aide nor did He travel to Judea until two days later. When Jesus decided to leave, He explained to the disciples that Lazarus was asleep and that He would wake him upon their arrival. The apostles did not initially understand what Christ meant, taking His words literally until He stated plainly that Lazarus was dead.
  4. 4. CHRIST & MARTHA ❖ As they were drawing close to the town of Bethany, Martha got word that Jesus was coming so she met Him. She said, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee,” (St. John 11: 21-22). You see Martha had great faith in God but she did not know what He was going to do for her brother and for her family.
  5. 5. CHRIST THE RESURRECTION & LIFE ❖ Now what Christ says next is so important and embodies our hope for those saints living and deceased. “Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world,” (St. John 11: 23-27).
  6. 6. CHRIST & MARY ❖ Martha returned to Bethany and told her sister, Mary, in secret, that Christ called for her. Mary rose up quickly and many of the Jews that were at their house followed after her. When Mary saw Jesus she fell down at His knees and cried, saying, “Lord if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” Not only Mary cried but the Jews that followed her. This troubled Christ greatly.
  7. 7. JESUS WEPT ❖ The scriptures state that He groaned in His spirit and wept. Yes, Christ cried as well. He was in the flesh and experienced emotions just as we do but He did not sin. You see, we are created in God’s image and therefore our ability to have emotions comes from Him. The people were amazed when they saw Christ weeping. But they were going to be even more amazed at what He was going to do next.
  8. 8. LAZARUS’ RESURRECTION ❖ Christ went to the grave of Lazarus, which was in a cave with a stone covering it. He then asked Martha to take away the stone. Martha explained to Christ that her brother had been dead for 4 days. By this time, his body had already started to decompose and smelled of rotting flesh. But Christ said this, “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God,” (St. John 11: 40)?
  9. 9. LAZARUS’ RESURRECTION ❖ So they took away the stone and Christ spoke aloud to God the Father above and said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth,” (St. John 11: 41-43). Lazarus indeed came out of the grave with graves clothes on and a napkin on his face. Christ commanded the people to release Lazarus that he might freely move about.
  10. 10. LAZARUS’ RESURRECTION ❖ Now there were others that Christ had brought back to life but not quite in the way that Lazarus was. Many of the Jews that witness Lazarus’ resurrection believed in Jesus and that He was indeed the Son of God.
  11. 11. FEAR & ENVY OF THE PHARISEES ❖ However, there were some Jews who went to the Pharisees to report what was done. The Pharisees feared greatly that many people would leave the church and follow after Christ. So they plotted and conspired not only to put Christ to death but Lazarus as well.
  12. 12. RESURRECTION OF LAZARUS ❖ Why did Christ raise Lazarus from the dead? Everything that God does is with purpose and intent. It is never random or by coincidence. God’s children serve as signs and often a testament of His work and power as well as what is to come. When Christ was on the earth it was a time of signs and miracles. Many people needed a sign, something they could see with their own eyes, in order to believe the truth.
  13. 13. RESURRECTION OF LAZARUS ❖ When Christ brought Lazarus back to life He showed: 1) That God the Father heard Him because He was His only begotten Son sent to the earth ( St. John 11: 40-41); 2) That He was the God of life with all power, even the ability to raise the dead; 3) That Lazarus’ resurrection was a sign of His own impending resurrection that would occur after His death and 4) Lazarus was also a sign of the resurrection of all of God’s saints.
  14. 14. CHRIST CRUCIFIED ❖ Shortly after the death and resurrection of Lazarus, Christ was crucified on the cross. When Christ gave up the ghost, the breath of life was removed from Him. His body was wrapped in linen with a mixture of aloe and myth as was custom for the Jews prior to a burial. Christ was then buried in the ground and remained in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights, after which He resurrected, becoming our Passover by gaining victory over sin and death.
  15. 15. CHRIST’s DEATH & RESURRECTION ❖ His death and resurrection is a focal point of Passover and serves as a refrain for us today and in the future. Why? Christ is our sacrificial lamb. It is His blood that seals us and serves as a sign that we are His children and will pass over from death to life during the last days. Today, we receive His blood through His holy word, which is found in the bible, this in turn makes us holy and prepares us to pass over to eternal life. Christ’s death and resurrection also ensured that all people that are deceased will be resurrected.
  16. 16. THE AFTERLIFE? ❖ Now when one dies, that is what we refer to as the common death. A very popular and pervasive myth preached throughout most religions is that there is an afterlife when you die. Particularly, in Pseudo Christian churches, they preach that when you die you go to heaven. There is no where in the scriptures that supports this belief. Lets dig a little deeper and learn the truth.
  17. 17. IN THE BEGINNING… ❖ When God created humankind He created us to be composed of the outer person and the inner person. Paul so eloquently stated, “though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day,” II Corinthians 4:16. He then breathed within man the breath of life making him a living soul. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul,” (Genesis 2: 7). The soul is our living self and it performs acts of righteousness or wickedness. Because of the sin in the garden, our flesh was corrupted with sin and death. In Romans 5: 12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
  18. 18. OUR CURRENT FLESH ❖ As a result, once an individual reaches adulthood, the body ages, losing function and vitality gradually and ultimately dying. When your die the breath of life is removed from you. Your flesh, which is visible to the human eye, begins to decompose, becoming one with the dust of the earth, “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return,” (Genesis 3:19) However, the inner person, visible only to the eyes of God, falls asleep awaiting the resurrection.
  19. 19. THE RESURRECTION ❖ During the last days, the trump shall sound and the dead shall be risen. But it will not be done all at once because there are two resurrections. There is the first resurrection for the saints and the second resurrection for the wicked. In St. John 5: 28-29, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
  20. 20. THE RESURRECTION ❖ Paul also speaks about the first resurrection in more detail in I Corinthians 15: 51-52, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” Note that he stated we shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed. There will be saints alive during the last days who will ultimately change from mortal flesh to immortal, never tasting of death. And for those saints that have died the common death or have been asleep they will be resurrected from their graves unto immortality. This is also what Christ was speaking of when he stated, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
  21. 21. CHRIST IS OUR EXAMPLE ❖ It is important to know that we follow the example of Christ who set the pattern for us in Heaven and on this earth. It is evident in the scriptures that when He died, He In fact remained in the ground for 3 days and 3 nights. In Matthew 12: 40, “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” He did not immediately go to heaven.
  22. 22. CHRIST IS OUR EXAMPLE ❖ The Father called Him out of the ground and He resurrected unto eternal life with the breath of life returning unto his body, (Romans 6: 4). This is a testament and an example of what happens to the people of God. In Romans 6: 5, “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:”
  23. 23. IN CONCLUSION ❖ Should we die on this earth, there is no bright light calling us up to heaven. We are like our Father. We remain in the ground in a deep sleep only to be awaken during the resurrection when Christ sounds the trumpet. The people of this world don’t speak much of the resurrection but this is a part of our hope for ourselves and for our loved ones who are now deceased. We do not aspire for an afterlife. We aspire for eternal life and to be united with all the Saints and to be united with God in heaven. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also,” (St. John 14: 3).

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