I really love how John makes the story 3-D. We not only can picture in our minds the event, but we can also hear and feel the emotions of the people involved. Jesus knew that the religious elite were bearing down and now focused upon ending Jesus’ ministry and perhaps even ending Jesus.
Jesus was in true anguish as He came and ministered to Mary and Martha. Their pain and grief were so raw and so real that it made the Lord sick. That coupled with the feigned empathy and sadness of the Jewish leaders made the Lord so sad that He even wept.
It is obvious that the Jewish leaders were accidently overheard (while they screamed) “Wow, He healed all those other folks, but He would not heal his friend…” The tension was palpable, and the people were thinking ewe, 4 days in the grave, this is going to be awful.
Then, however, Jesus came to the tomb, He had the folks move the stone over the objections of Martha, Jesus prayed to the Father; and then He yelled Lazarus come forth. At once, out popped Lazarus, still bound head to toe. Jesus told the people to free Lazarus, dropped the mic, and left the scene.
The entire group wanted to make this about Jesus and His tardy appearance to the scene! Jesus wanted to make it about the greatness and glory of God the Father! He obviously succeeded and His adversaries failed. Truly, there was no longer any question that God was alive and working through the Messiah, Jesus.
It should have moved the religious elite to repentance and renewed faith in God the Father. Instead, it sent them into a rage and fury that would focus specifically on the shattering of countless laws they covenanted to follow all the days of their lives. That had to be a sad memory for John to recount. Yet, it was the defining moment in the journey. The world now could see that Jesus was who He claimed to be. So begins the fulfillment of the sacrifice that saved each of us.
God Bless You
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”