How to Live Forever
Topic: Believe and Live Passage: John 11:1–11:46
The resurrection of Lazarus glorified God by confirming that Jesus is the Son of God which strengthened the faith of His disciples and Lazarus' sisters and stimulated faith in those who witnessed the miracle.
1. THE FAITH OF THE STUDENTS (vv. 1-16)
Jesus knew that when He returned to Heaven that His disciples would be left to carry on the ministry He had begun. Although He had already brought a number of people back to life already, the raising of Lazarus, who had been dead for over 4 days, was perhaps the greatest proof that Jesus was indeed the Son of God.
2. THE FAITH OF THE SISTERS (vv. 17-37)
Jesus intended to wait until it was universally accepted that Lazarus was dead. In fact, Martha was reluctant to allow Jesus to open the tomb because of the number of days that had passed. When Jesus finally arrived, both Mary and Martha proclaimed the same thing - that if Jesus had been there, their brother would not have died. However, Jesus ministered to each sister differently. Jesus gave Martha intellectual support (that God is in control), while giving Mary emotional support (showing that God cares). Jesus then said to Martha that He is "the resurrection and the life" (v. 25), and in response, Martha gives a hallmark profession of faith, declaring Jesus to be "the Christ, the Son of God".
3. THE FAITH OF THE SPECTATORS (vv. 38-46)
Jesus was not only concerned for His disciples and the family of Lazarus who were mourning, but He was also concerned for those who had come to witness the miracle that Jesus was to perform at the tomb. Jesus wanted to demonstrate that the enemy, which is sin and Satan, death and hell, was responsible for this death. Jesus wanted to demonstrate his power over death and Satan so that others might believe and so God would be glorified.
Praise God that because Christ won the victory over sin, death, and hell, you will never have to experience the "sting of death" (1 Corinthians 15:54-55). Ask Him to help you tell others how they can escape death and hell and live forever in heaven through faith in Christ's death and resurrection.