Summary: Lazarus talk about his experience as Jesus raises him from the dead. How did it affect him and those around him. Jesus would give his life to save Lazarus
On the Road with Jesus: Lazarus
March 10, 2019
Many of us are eager for the season of spring to begin. This past Wednesday marked the beginning of a season on the Christian calendar, the season of Lent. What is Lent? Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter. It is a time of self-examination and reflection. In the early church, Lent was a time to prepare new converts for baptism. Today, Christians focus on their relationship with God, often choosing to give up something or to volunteer and give of themselves for others.
Over the next six weeks you are going to journey with Jesus on the road to Jerusalem. You will hear from people that Jesus encountered along the way. Some of them knew Jesus and others he met for the first time on the road. All had life altering encounters with Jesus.
It is hoped that as you join the journey that you will also encounter Jesus. For some you may already know Jesus for some you may encounter him for the first time. Meeting Jesus is a life altering experience.
Today, a young man by the name of Lazarus recounts his encounter with Jesus. Because there are no written words spoken by Lazarus in the Bible some creative liberties have been taken to give Lazarus a voice this morning. Lazarus’ encounter with Jesus is found in the Bible, the gospel of John in chapter 11. You are encouraged to read this chapter in its entirety. Since he was there I will let Lazarus tell you about his encounter with Jesus.
Good morning to all of you. I am so happy to be sharing my encounter with Jesus. I suppose you could say that mine is a life and death story. I am getting ahead of myself.
My name is Lazarus and I knew Jesus. In fact I had met Jesus previous to this story. My sister’s names are Mary and Martha. They were followers of Jesus. They were convinced that he was the Messiah and begged me to come and to listen to Jesus.
Mary, Martha and I are Jews and we had been waiting for a long time for the promised Messiah to come. The prophets had left us with words that God would send someone from King David’s royal lineage. We were sure that this Messiah would restore the nation of Israel. We were ruled by the nation of Rome at the time and it would take a powerful leader to break the grip of Rome over us.
Like I said Mary and Martha were convinced that Jesus was the one prophecied about. I must say that after listening to him teach and watching him heal people, I was pretty convinced myself.
Jesus spoke with such clarity. I had grown up going to the synagogue listening to the scriptures read and explained but I had never heard anything like this. At times it seemed like Jesus had written these words himself. He explained them with such passion.
There were times when his explanations differed from what I had learned growing up but when Jesus spoke it just seemed to make sense. He spoke of love instead of hate, forgiveness instead of revenge. He talked about the Kingdom of Heaven and not a worldly kingdom.
Now there were times when he would say things that would leave me scratching my head but I watched his closest followers and they seemed confused from time to time as well. It didn’t keep me away, I wanted to know more and more. When I was able or when I was close to where Jesus was I would go and listen to him.
Why did I think he was the Messiah? He was different. He was kind to women. He always had time for the outcast. I saw him heal people. He was special for sure. The only problem seem be that he would often clash with the chief priests.
More than once people got upset with Jesus and wanted to kill him. Each time however he was able to get out of the situation unharmed. In fact the last time Jesus was in this area they wanted to stone him and so I wasn’t sure if he’d be back this way or not. To me it was clear that God was with Jesus. I was 95% sure that he was this promised Messiah and I was anxious to see what was going to happen.
I then I got sick. It wasn’t a big deal at first. I just remember that I didn’t feel right. We all have that from time to time right. I figured that maybe it was something that I ate or that it would just pass in a day or two.