Jesus received word that His friend Lazarus was sick. Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha. They lived in the town of Bethany, which was 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; 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. 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. His messiahship was clearly on display, and it was Jesus’ claims to be the Son of God that would lead to His death on the cross. Jesus interrupted Lazarus’s funeral knowing His would soon follow.
Emphasize to your kids that 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 sins and rose from the dead. He gives eternal life to those who trust in Him.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
- Babies and Toddlers
- Jesus’ friend Lazarus was very sick.
- Jesus made Lazarus alive again.
- Those who trust in Jesus will live forever with Him.
- Jesus showed that He has power over death.
- Jesus is our King.
- Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
- How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over all He made.
- Jesus has power over death.
- How does God care for His creation? God loves and rules over His creation according to His perfect plan.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
- Colossians 1:13-14 (PS: Colossians 1:13)
- “Jesus’ Triumphal Entry” (Matthew 21; Mark 11; Luke 19; John 12)