Bible Question: If
Lazarus was with God in Paradise why would Jesus resurrect him and
bring him back on earth? He surely would have been happier in Paradise,
Bible Answer: The
book of John is the only gospel that contains the events surrounding
the death and return to life of Lazarus. The events are recorded
in John 11.
The Event. Early
in John 11 we discover that Jesus was first told that Lazarus was sick. But Jesus
did not rush to Lazarus. Instead He said the following and then remained for
two days before going to Lazarus.
when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not
to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son
of God may be glorified by it. (NASB) John 11:4
a result Lazarus died. When Jesus finally arrived, Mary
was weeping and told Jesus that Lazarus would not have died if He
had only come earlier (John 11:32-33). After Jesus was taken to Lazarus'
tomb, He commanded that Lazarus come out (John 11:39-44). Just before
Jesus resurrected Lazarus He said this,
said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe,
you will see the glory of God?” So they removed the
stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father,
I thank You that You have heard Me. (NASB) John 11:40-41
brought Lazarus back to life for the glory of God.
A Greater Purpose. The
Apostle John explains at the end of John that all of the events recorded in his
gospel are for one purpose.
many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of
the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these
have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the
Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life
in His name. (NASB) John 20:30
is more interested in our discovering Him than in any one person's
comfort because He does not want anyone to end up in eternal punishment.
has a greater purpose than the comfort or pleasure of His people.
He will discipline us when we sin (Heb. 12:4-17). He calls us to
suffer for Him (Matt. 5:10-12) and to pursue holiness (1 Pet. 1:16).
God brought Lazarus back to life, not for Lazarus' comfort but for
God's glory and purpose. Those who are Jesus-followers are urged
to the following,
I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your
bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which
is your spiritual service of worship. (NASB) Rom. 12:1
is the result of a love relationship. One who loves God willingly
sacrifices himself/herself for Him.