“The chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus” (John12:10,11)
When Queen Elizabeth arrived in Fremantle Harbor in Perth, Australia, in 1977, one man nearly lost his life just to get a glimpse of the royal visitor. Able Seaman Billy Witts was cleaning the funnel of the Grey Rover, a navy auxiliary ship docked in the harbour. He was twenty feet above the deck when the royal yacht Britannia arrived with the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. In the distraction of the moment, the thirty-one-year-old Witts fell and suffered serious head and spinal injuries.
Some people take great risks to catch a view of someone important!
After Christ raised Lazarus from the dead, what must it have been like for onlookers to come and see someone resurrected from the grave? This was perhaps the most spectacular miracle that Jesus had ever performed in front of a crowd of spectators. Not long after this Jesus came back to Bethany to attend a special meal “and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him” (John 12:2). Jesus was the honoured guest, but the man snatched from the grave must have certainly drew the attention of the other visitors.
Jesus’ delay in going to see Lazarus when word came to Him confused the disciples. They couldn’t understand why Christ tarried for a few days until His good friend Lazarus died. It seemed unkind of their Master. Although the Saviour’s heart felt the pain of His friend’s death, He was at peace, for He knew He would raise Lazarus a short time later. He also knew the miracle would lead many to accept Him as the Messiah.
Yet the very act of bringing life to Mary and Martha’s brother not only put Lazarus’ life at risk with the chief priests, it was one of the final acts that led the religious rulers to kill Jesus. It was another example of how Christ laid down His life in order to save others.
Dear Jesus, I am at peace that my loved ones who die in You will be raised again by Your power.
For Further Study: John 12:1–11; 1 Thess. 4:13–18; Luke 16:31