In the movies, and on many television shows, certain characters cannot die. Even if visibly fatally wounded, or even seemingly lost they recover or reappear. Whether they may call it resurrection, regeneration or resurgence, even restoration the idea is clear, important individuals must continue to promote success in some form. Lazarus is important to promote God’s plan and show Jesus power, authority and complete control over life, His ability to utterly defeat Satan’s realm.
As I pray about these passages in John 11:41b-44 Jesus relationship with the Father becomes much clearer. His dedication to complete our Father’s will through the greatest emotional turmoil is apparent. Jesus does not deny His emotions, He embraces them but He does not succumb to their deceitful lure. Though He has deep love for Lazarus, and all mankind, He loves, even His Father with a perfect love. But, He is 100% human as well, those temptations to succumb to emotional pressure are as taxing upon Him as they would be on anyone. As God, even more so.
Then we reach the final act, “Lazarus, come forth.” Three simple words, but what power they possess from the mouth of God. Jesus directly addresses only Lazarus, no other deceased person is indicated. Then a direct command, no mixed words. An exercise in perfect speech forensics. But one might ask, what words does God need to use? He is the ruler of the universe. What He commands happens. His is not an earthly kingdom dependent upon subjects to choose to carry out commands, though we are given this choice to willingly become a member. No, in this instance, God’s absolute power over life and death is at issue. Lazarus steps out of the tomb because His life is provided for that purpose and there is no objection. Lazarus responds not out of obligation, but out of his life’s purpose. Lazarus’ life purpose is to serve God’s Kingdom. That is his success and his vitality displays that testimony.
Christian, are you given to God’s Kingdom such that your life is seen as a success and wholly directed through that service? As Lazarus responds to the voice of Jesus, do you respond to His voice? Is your entire life’s being dependent upon obeying God’s command? Would you obey as though every cell in your body longed to fulfill His will, as though your very existence’s purpose is to fulfill that will? That is Lazarus’ testimony. Is it yours?