经文 :【约翰福音 11：1 - 57】
1有一个患病的人，名叫拉撒路，住在伯大尼，就是马利亚和他姊姊马大的村庄。 2这马利亚就是那用香膏抹主，又用头发擦他脚的；患病的拉撒路是他的兄弟。 3他姊妹两个就打发人去见耶稣，说：主啊，你所爱的人病了。 4耶稣听见，就说：这病不至于死，乃是为神的荣耀，叫神的儿子因此得荣耀。 5耶稣素来爱马大和他妹子并拉撒路。 6听见拉撒路病了。就在所居之地仍住了两天。 7然后对门徒说：我们再往犹太去吧。 8门徒说：拉比，犹太人近来要拿石头打你，你还往那里去吗？ 9耶稣回答说：白日不是有十二小时吗？人在白日走路，就不至跌倒，因为看见这世上的光。 10若在黑夜走路，就必跌倒，因为他没有光。 11耶稣说了这话，随后对他们说：我们的朋友拉撒路睡了，我去叫醒他。 12门徒说：主啊，他若睡了，就必好了。 13耶稣这话是指着他死说的，他们却以为是说照常睡了。 14耶稣就明明的告诉他们说：拉撒路死了。 15我没有在那里就欢喜，这是为你们的缘故，好叫你们相信。如今我们可以往他那里去吧。 16多马，又称为低土马，就对那同作门徒的说：我们也去和他同死吧。 17耶稣到了，就知道拉撒路在坟墓里已经四天了。 18伯大尼离耶路撒冷不远，约有六里路。 19有好些犹太人来看马大和马利亚，要为他们的兄弟安慰他们。 20马大听见耶稣来了，就出去迎接他；马利亚却仍然坐在家里。 21马大对耶稣说：主啊，你若早在这里，我兄弟必不死。 22就是现在，我也知道，你无论向神求什么，神也必赐给你。 23耶稣说：你兄弟必然复活。 24马大说：我知道在末日复活的时候，他必复活。 25耶稣对他说：复活在我，生命也在我。信我的人虽然死了，也必复活，26凡活着信我的人必永远不死。你信这话吗？ 27马大说：主啊，是的，我信你是基督，是神的儿子，就是那要临到世界的。 28马大说了这话，就回去暗暗的叫他妹子马利亚，说：夫子来了，叫你。 29马利亚听见了，就急忙起来，到耶稣那里去。 30那时，耶稣还没有进村子，仍在马大迎接他的地方。 31那些同马利亚在家里安慰他的犹太人，见他急忙起来出去，就跟着他，以为他要往坟墓那里去哭。 32马利亚到了耶稣那里，看见他，就俯伏在他脚前，说：主啊，你若早在这里，我兄弟必不死。 33耶稣看见他哭，并看见与他同来的犹太人也哭，就心里悲叹，又什忧愁，34便说：你们把他安放在哪里？他们回答说：请主来看。 35耶稣哭了。 36犹太人就说：你看他爱这人是何等恳切。 37其中有人说：他既然开了瞎子的眼睛，岂不能叫这人不死吗？ 38耶稣又心里悲叹，来到坟墓前；那坟墓是个洞，有一块石头挡着。 39耶稣说：你们把石头挪开。那死人的姊姊马大对他说：主啊，他现在必是臭了，因为他死了已经四天了。 40耶稣说：我不是对你说过，你若信，就必看见神的荣耀吗？ 41他们就把石头挪开。耶稣举目望天，说：父啊，我感谢你，因为你已经听我。 42我也知道你常听我，但我说这话是为周围站着的众人，叫他们信是你差了我来。 43说了这话，就大声呼叫说：拉撒路出来！ 44那死人就出来了，手脚裹着布，脸上包着手巾。耶稣对他们说，解开，叫他走！ 45那些来看马利亚的犹太人见了耶稣所做的事，就多有信他的；46但其中也有去见法利赛人的，将耶稣所做的事告诉他们。 47祭司长和法利赛人聚集公会，说：这人行好些神迹，我们怎么办呢？ 48若这样由著他，人人都要信他，罗马人也要来夺我们的地土和我们的百姓。 49内中有一个人，名叫该亚法，本年作大祭司，对他们说：你们不知道什么。 50独不想一个人替百姓死，免得通国灭亡，就是你们的益处。 51他这话不是出于自己，是因他本年作大祭司，所以预言耶稣将要替这一国死；52也不但替这一国死，并要将神四散的子民都聚集归一。 53从那日起，他们就商议要杀耶稣。 54所以，耶稣不再显然行在犹太人中间，就离开那里往靠近旷野的地方去，到了一座城，名叫以法莲，就在那里和门徒同住。 55犹太人的逾越节近了，有许多人从乡下上耶路撒冷去，要在节前洁净自己。 56他们就寻找耶稣，站在殿里彼此说：你们的意思如何，他不来过节吗？ 57那时，祭司长和法利赛人早已吩咐说，若有人知道耶稣在哪里，就要报明，好去拿他。
今天， 我们要谈及人生中无法回避的一个沉重的话题 -- 死亡。
从耶稣的角度来描述： 耶稣所爱的拉撒路病了， 耶稣等待拉撒路死了， 耶稣确认拉撒路埋了， 耶稣把已经死去四天的拉撒路复活了！
一个人死了， 他给爱他的人留下了什么呢？哭泣！任何一个人的死亡都会让爱自己的让哭泣。在这段经文中， 我们看到了许多人的的哭泣：
众人经历了拉撒路的复活， 死亡带来的绝望被复活的事实所替代。绝望变成喜乐， 永生成为真实的盼望！
你的生命若是以死亡为终结，那么你所有的盼望都会变成绝望。你若不相信复活的耶稣， 你的死还不止是一次， 今生肉体的死亡和审判之时永远的死亡！
The Death of Lazarus
11 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
The Plot to Kill Jesus
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”
49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”
51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.
54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.
55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?” 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.
Today, we are going to talk about a heavy topic that cannot be avoided in life-death.
This story is composed of four segments: Lazarus is sick, Lazarus is dead, Lazarus is buried, Lazarus is alive. This is what we tell from the life experience of Lazarus.
Description from the perspective of Jesus: Lazarus whom Jesus loved was sick, Jesus waited for Lazarus to die, Jesus confirmed that Lazarus was buried, Jesus raised Lazarus who had been dead for four days!
This passage inspires us to think about three aspects: What is life? What is resurrection? How to receive the resurrected life and live the resurrected life?
A. What is life?
1. A life of sickness (V1-6)
Lazarus was sick for the glory of God, more specifically for the glory of the Son of God.
And the development of the following story is to illustrate how the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was glorified. Can you glorify God even if you are sick? What an unusual meaning of sickness!
2. A life of death (V7-16)
The manifestation of God's glory, people experience God's glory and believe in Jesus. This is the purpose of God's resurrection of Lazarus. Thomas heard the promise of Jesus Christ to resurrect Lazarus, and even plucked up his courage, willing to take risks with the Lord Jesus, and even die with the Lord!
3. A crying life (V28-37)
When a person dies, what does he leave for those who love him? cry! Anyone's death will make those who love him cry. In this passage, we see the cry of many people:
First, Mary's cry.
Second, the cry of the Jews who came with Mary.
Third, the cry of Jesus.
4. A stinking life (V38-39)
Death is not the eternal end of humanity. Because God has prepared salvation for the mortal!
The realization of this redemption is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to the world in the flesh, revealing to the world that he is the Christ.
If anyone believes that Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ, he will be saved!
B. Jesus is resurrection and life
1. Jesus resurrected Lazarus (V40-45)
The key to resurrection is the word of God, which is Jesus!
God created everything with the almighty word, and now he uses the almighty word to raise the dead.
The resurrection is entirely based on the power and wisdom of God!
2. The resurrection of the dead transcends human reason (V17-27)
Resurrection is a fact that transcends human reason. Reason has its limitations, but this is precisely the importance of faith. The time when people’s faith is tested most often is when we know that the Lord has the power to do things, but he does not do it in accordance with our time and method.
The eternal God allows us to trust him for everything, to count on him for everything, and to entrust him for everything! If the environment and path that the Lord arranges for us, if we can accept it willingly and not to blame, then this person will be blessed!
3. The price of resurrection is Jesus walking to the cross! (Luke 16:19-31) Jesus resurrected Lazarus to make his followers believe that he is the Christ and the Son of God. He has the ability to resurrect the dead!
The resurrection of Jesus through his own death is the guarantee for the resurrection of all those who believe that he is the Son of God! He died for our sins and was raised for our eternal life!
To be saved, one must rely on Jesus. The sins of man are so serious that the only way to save is that Jesus must die before man can be saved.
The multitude experienced the resurrection of Lazarus, and the despair brought about by death was replaced by the fact of the resurrection. Despair becomes joy, and becomes true hope forever!
Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe in the resurrected Jesus? May you not only know the resurrection. More importantly, you need to know that Jesus was resurrected for you!
If your life ends with death, then all your hopes will become despair. If you don’t believe in the resurrected Jesus, your death is more than once, the physical death in this life and the eternal death at the time of judgment!
Come, believe in Jesus who walked to the cross for your sins, believe in Christ who rose to life for your life!