Lazarus is Dead…I am Glad…Huh?!?!

“So then he told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe” (John 11:14-15).

Lazarus is dead…I am glad I was not there.

Hmmm. What is that about?

This verse comes from the middle of the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Here are some things we ought to know about this story.

  • Lazarus was a beloved friend of Jesus.
  • Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha.
  • Jesus was in Jerusalem. Mary and Martha send word to Jesus that their brother is sick and nearing death. They plead with Jesus to come to him because they know Jesus will heal him.
  • Bethany, the town, where Lazarus lives in is less than two miles away from Jerusalem. Two miles!!! Most of us can walk that in 40 minutes. Easy.
  • Yet, we are told, that when Jesus hears about Lazarus’ impending sickness and death, Jesus chooses to stay in Jerusalem for two more days!!! (John 11:6).

Hmmm. What is that about?

This is when Jesus explains to the disciples that Lazarus is dying. In fact, by the time we get to verses 14-15, Lazarus is already dead. This is when he says, “Lazarus is dead…I am glad.”

Say what?!?!

Jesus is glad, not that Lazarus is dead, but because Lazarus’ death will lead the disciples to greater faith. This is for their sake, Jesus says. This is so they will believe.

Believe what?

The story of Lazarus is about revealing Jesus as the Lord of the resurrection. Jesus declares, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).

Lazarus knew that Jesus was the Lord of the resurrection. Jesus knew he was the Lord of the resurrection. The only ones who didn’t know this reality were the disciples. The raising of Lazarus from the dead would show the disciples who Jesus is.

Jesus is the Lord of the resurrection. He is the giver of life. He is the source of salvation. This is a game changer.

What a powerful life lesson. If Jesus is your Lord, there is nothing – not even death – that can separate you from the Lord of the resurrection.


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