In today’s Bible story, Jesus received word that His friend Lazarus was sick. Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha. They lived in the town of Bethany, about two miles away from Jerusalem. Mary and Martha sent a message to Jesus, likely expecting Him to come right away.
Jesus loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. (John 11:5) Yet He stayed where He was, and Lazarus died. Why would Jesus do such a thing? Jesus said that Lazarus’ sickness was “for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4). He said that He was glad He wasn’t there when Lazarus died so that the disciples may believe. (John 11:15) Jesus’ timing is always perfect, and He acts or doesn’t act so that God will be glorified.
By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. Decay had set in, and Mary and Martha were grieving. Martha went to meet Jesus. She said to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.” Jesus had shown His power to heal people who were sick. Even still, she believed He could do a miracle.
Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Jesus is the source of life—eternal life that cannot be destroyed by death. Believers do not need to fear death because physical death is not the end. (See John 11:25-26.) Jesus endured death for us so that when we die and are absent from our physical bodies, our souls are with the Lord. (See 2 Cor. 5:8.)
Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus interrupted Lazarus’s funeral knowing His would soon follow. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He showed that He has power over death. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus died on the cross for our sin and rose from the dead. He gives eternal life to those who trust in Him.