Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part III: Presentation Of The Messenger Of Salvation
C. Christ's Credentials Revealed In Confrontations With Men
14. Christ's Credibility Seen In His Undisputed Power Over Physical Death
(John 11:1-57)
  1. Introduction
    1. If Jesus is God's Messiah and Son, then the blessings of His Messianic Kingdom ought to be real.
    2. Well, one of those blessings predicted in Isaiah 26:19 was that Israel's "dead men shall live".
    3. John recorded Christ's raising a man from the dead in a way that even His enemies could not dispute had occurred. This reveals important truths not only regarding Christ's credibility, but regarding the credibility of the doctrines of the believer's resurrection and creationism in Genesis 1-2 as follows :
  2. Christ's Credibility Seen In His Undisputed Power Over Physical Death, John 11:1-57.
    1. Jesus challenged physical death by intentionally letting Lazarus die before trying to raise him, Jn. 11:1-15.
      1. Jesus was informed before Lazarus died that he was very ill, and in need of His healing help, Jn. 11:1-3.
      2. Yet, Jesus resisted helping Lazarus, waiting for him to die before attempting to raise him, Jn. 11:4-15:
        1. Though Jesus is repeatedly said to care for Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary, He stalled in going to help Lazarus when he carried a life-threatening sickness, John 11:4-5, 6.
        2. In fact, Jesus waited until in His own words He clarified Lazarus had physically died, Jn. 11:7-14.
        3. Yet, Christ allowed this death to occur with the stated intent of getting people to believe in Him, 11:15. He thus set up a clear challenge to death itself, staking His reputation on overcoming it.
    2. In the process of preparing to address Lazarus's deceased condition, there is every evidence from the record that Lazarus was dead, making the challenge between Jesus and Lazarus' death real, John 11:16-40:
      1. Lazarus had been dead for four days, a significant time period in Palestine when putrefaction had set in due to its climate, John 11:17. In fact, when Jesus asked the gravestone to be removed so He could call Lazarus t o life, Martha, his sister, objected due to the offense of this putrefaction.
      2. Jesus' arrival was met with anger by Martha and Mary who blamed Jesus for Lazarus' death, 11:18-32.
      3. There many others involved in grieving, showing many were convinced Lazarus had died, Jn. 11:19, 33.
      4. Jesus Himself groaned and wept upon coming face to face with the grief in His beloved friends, showing that He entered into the pain of what had been a conviction that true death had occurred, Jn. 11:33b-36.
      5. Onlookers expressed their sorrow that Jesus who had healed the blind had failed to heal Lazarus, showing they were in a state of grieving, considering that a tragedy had occurred, John 11:37.
    3. Nevertheless, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead according to the account, John 11:41-44:
      1. When Jesus had prayed and called with a loud voice for Lazarus to come forth, he came forth, apparently having to jiggle his feet or hop because he was wound up tightly in grave strips, 11:41-44b.
      2. Jesus had to ask the people to loosen Lazarus from his grave clothes, a practical sign that he who had been wrapped for burial had actually come out of his burial clothes and from the tomb, John 11:44c.
    4. Of significance is the reaction of Christ's enemies to this alleged resurrection: they did not use Christ's attempted raising of Lazarus as proof that He was not the Messiah (for failing to raise Lazarus); rather, they took council in the Sanhedrin to kill Jesus so as to avoid having Rome react to a massive following of the people after an "upstart" king in Jesus, for that would chal lenge Caesar, Jn. 11:45-57. In challenging Caesar, the Romans would want to invade and destroy these leaders for unrest, Jn. 11:49-50.
Lesson: Not only from the REPORT of Lazarus' rising, but from the REACTION of Jesus' ENEMIES to Jesus' challenge to Lazarus' death, we know Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. As such, He is to be believed as God's Messiah and Son of God as He cla imed, cf. John 20:30-31.

Application: (1) We must believe that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God for raising Lazarus from the dead. By such faith we will be saved. (2) Also, we who believe in Him will hence truly rise again should we die before the rapture! (3) Since Jesus has power over physical death, physical resurrection is included in His salvation, meaning death is the result of sin and not a normal part of nature. That means evolution with its survival of the fittest idea is FALSE, cf. 1 Cor. 15 :20-22!