John 11:11-13 (NASB)
This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep.
It is quite easy for even a novice to discover consolation, comfort and hope in this account of the death, then subsequent resurrection of Lazarus. So much truth is revealed in John 11. The curtain of God’s eternal purpose to bestow man with life is drawn back but a wee bit and glory descends to Sheol. So much understanding is granted the one who purposes time spent with our Lord herein these pages, to “ponder anew what the Almighty might do, if with His love He befriend us.” Truth will always stand unchanged, unchangable. Life and Truth Incarnate are before us.
“Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go to wake him.”
Jesus apparently considers the death of his friends a relative equivalent of a power nap that transforms one by resurrection to a new vitality of purpose, energy and understanding. Our Lord manages this greatest of all physical dilemmas with ease, with grace, and might we say with disdain at the evil of Sin’s consequence. In my years as a healthcare professional I have seen perhaps hundreds die, and it is never a thing of beauty for we were crowned with life as living souls designed in His image to know Him forever in life and glory. Yet death comes, and with but a word the effectual call of the King issues forth with the inherently powerful command to grant Life to the Fallen ones.
The allegory works in both the spiritual resurrection today and the coming final resurrection of glorification of all those in Christ. This is no small matter. It is at the heart of the King’s reparation of the Fall. It is a blow to the head that renders him powerless who had the power of death.
Brethren, He gives us that which we need most desperately and can never obtain apart from His work and the hearing of His voice. Without exception death will defeat each of us. We might ignore it but He crept one step closer with the setting sun of yesterday. Jesus alone is Lord of life with power and authority to remedy our greatest affliction. “Except a grain of wheat fall to the ground and die it remains by itself alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit…” He died that we might rise in Him. Who else makes such a claim and then validates it by this historical event which we see today as an allegory unto life by His utterance to, “Come Forth!”?
Hebrews 2:14-15 (NASB)
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.