What have we seen in this tremendous chapter? We have seen a strange response by Jesus to a dying friend. He lets him die. We have seen Jesus and His disciples risking their lives to go to this family’s side after Lazarus has passed away, when it was “too late,” one might say.
We have heard a lot of words from Jesus about this catastrophe not ending in death. But Lazarus was clearly dead and had been in the grave for four days. There has been a discussion of eschatology, specifically a future resurrection of Jesus’ dead friend. And the Lord has focused upon the cruciality of belief. Let’s notice what happens next . . .
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.
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.”
We read that, after He had prayed to the Father, Jesus spoke. Rather He shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” (v. 43). The tomb is open, the stone already having been removed. And the text tells us that “The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.” (v. 44).
Hopping. He must have been hopping, for his feet were probably wrapped together. And he couldn’t see. His face was covered with a cloth. Maybe he bumped against the sides of the cave a couple of times. His hands weren’t free to reach out and feel his way as he exited the tomb. What an awkward way for Lazarus to meet his Lord!
Jesus merely spoke or shouted the words, “Lazarus, come out!” What powerful words from the Word of God! Jesus could have (days before) kept His friend from dying. And right now He could have simply thought His friend out of the tomb. But Jesus spoke. He didn’t have to use His words. But those observing needed to see the connection between Jesus and a dead man being raised from the dead. His words are powerful. What power do His words have in your life? (to be continued)