Summary: John 11, Explanation and verses
When Lazarus Awoke
Based on the Gospel of John and other scriptures concerning the events leading up to the crucifiction, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
Now Jesus, upon returning to Bethany, was met by Martha who was mourning her brother, Lazarus, and was upset that Jesus could not be there when Lazarus was dying.
Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
In fact, the Gospel of John tells us that Jesus did not reach Bethany before Martha came out to where He was. This was, obviously, for two reasons. First, Martha wanted Him to know how upset she was that He was not there when Lazarus died. It is clear from scripture that Martha loved her brother and that she loved the Lord. She knew that Lazarus would still be alive if Jesus had been there. She must have been quite vocal about this and it is recorded in scripture that she said:
21 Martha therefore said unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22 And even now I know that, whatsoever thou shalt ask of God, God will give thee.
She said: "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." This is not an implication of neglect but rather a statement of faith. Martha states here that she knew Lazarus would still be alive if Jesus, her Lord, had been there. She goes on to say that whatsoever the Lord would ask of God, God would give it to Him. This she believed. She was sure in her heart that Lazarus could still be raised from the dead. It is important to realize Martha’s conviction here because it is Martha’s faith that is acted upon.
When Jesus tells her that Lazarus will rise again; she states the obvious. Isn’t that what we do when we are presented with a statement or condition that has physical as well as spiritual consequences or possible reactions. She simply says:
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
But Jesus wasn’t referring to the resurrection at the last day. He was talking about now. He used those same words He gave to Moses to tell Pharoah: "I am..." He said: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
Now let me just say that Jesus hadn’t returned to Bethany without a purpose. He was there because Satan had taken His friend through death and put others of His friends in mourning. Jesus was there because He was determined that Lazarus was going to live. There was no question about that. Jesus had already decided what was going to happen. There was nothing that was going to change what was about to happen. It might as well be carved in stone.
He didn’t say: "Well I thought I’d go up to the grave and see if by chance perhaps Lazarus could be raised from the dead, God willing."
He said: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
He was saying here that Lazarus might be dead now but he was going to live! It’s just that simple. Where in any scripture does the Lord ever say: "I think I’ll try this" or "perhaps thus-and-so may happen" He said He had spoken it and He would perform it. So when He says He is going to do something; whether a miracle or what it may be, we should take Him at His word.
Now Martha knew this. You see, Jesus had been all over the country performing miracles. He healed the sick, made the lame walk, made the blind to see and yes; raised the dead. So why should Martha doubt that Lazarus was going to live again. If she didn’t believe Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead; why walk all the way from Bethany to meet Him. It just dosn’t make any sense.
Mary had been so filled with grief that she couldn’t think of leaving the house yet when she heard that her Lord was near; she too went out to join Him. Evidently the thought of Jesus being near filled them both with such hope that they nearly forgot about mourning and just were filled with such expectation that the thought of Lazarus being dead kind of took a back seat.