There was once a time when the world knew not of its Savior. Yet there was hope because it had been foretold that a child would be born and called Emmanuel – God is with us. In Lent, we prepare for his coming anew. During this season, we discover for ourselves the call of salvation and the promise of eternal life.
Do you believe?
A message was sent to Jesus that a young man named Lazarus was close to death. By time the message was received, Lazarus had died. Jesus told his apostles that Lazarus was sleeping, but that he would go to awaken him. The apostles did not understand he meant that Lazarus was dead but would be arisen in God’s name. Jesus explained to them:
“Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. (John 11:14)
When Jesus and his apostles arrived at their destination, Lazarus was entombed in his burial place. A grieving sister, Martha, approached Jesus as he entered the town. She said to him that her brother would not have died if Jesus had come earlier. Jesus replied:
“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. Do you believe?” (John 11:25-26)
“Yes, Lord; I believe.” (John 11:27)
But then she told her sister, Mary, that Jesus had come to save Lazarus. Mary came running out of the home disconsolate and fell at Jesus’ feet crying out that if only Jesus had come sooner, her brother would not have died.
And Jesus wept because she doubted that him.
He walked to the tomb and told someone to remove the stone to the entrance. Martha stopped him saying that the body was already in decay having been dead four days. Once again, Jesus addressed their doubts:
“Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)
Jesus lifted his gaze and prayed to God. Then Jesus called out:
“Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43)
And Lazarus arose and walked out of the tomb.
The story of Lazarus is just one way Jesus proves why he was sent to us. It’s not a secret. He tells us many times and in many ways the reason why:
“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.”
To believe in eternal life is to believe in resurrection from death.
“Do you believe?”
These Gospel stories are re-imagined in the book series:
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