The Big Story

The Big Story Week 29: Lazarus, Come Forth

Bible Truths

  • God has promised us eternal life through Jesus. (Week 10)
  • God cares about us. (Week 27)
  • Nothing is impossible with God. (Week 28)
  • Jesus is powerful and has power over death.

Bible Verse

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

2 Corinthians 5:17


Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary were very good friends to Jesus. He had even spent time in their home. When Lazarus got sick his sisters sent someone to get Jesus. Let’s see what happens.

Day 1

A Death in The Family from The Action Bible

Day 2

We are going to spend several days in John 11. Looking at Lazarus.

1 A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”

But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”

But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”

Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. 10 But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” 11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.”

12 The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” 13 They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died.

14 So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.15 And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.”

John 11:1-15
  1. How did Jesus respond when he heard about Lazarus?
  2. Why do you think he waited to go to Bethany?
  3. What did Jesus mean when he said Lazarus was asleep?

Day 3

By the time Jesus got to Bethany Lazarus had been dead for 4 days. Let’s see what happens next.

17 When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. 18 Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, 19 and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. 20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”

25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” 28 Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” 29 So Mary immediately went to him.

John 11:17-29 NLT
  1. Who went to meet Jesus?
  2. What does Martha tell Jesus?
  3. What does Jesus mean that he is the resurrection and life?

Day 4

Jesus waited outside the village for Mary to arrive. Let’s find out what happens when she gets there.

30 Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. 31 When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. 32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them.

They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” 37 But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”

38 Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. 39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.

But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” 40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?

John 11:30-40 NLT
  1. How did Mary respond when Jesus arrived?
  2. Why was Jesus upset when the Mary and the others arrived at the tomb?
  3. What does Jesus promise Martha?

Day 5

Our reading yesterday ended with Jesus asking them to open the tombs. Let’s see what happens next.

41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a head cloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

45 Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen. 46 But some went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the leading priests and Pharisees called the high council together. “What are we going to do?” they asked each other. “This man certainly performs many miraculous signs. 48 If we allow him to go on like this, soon everyone will believe in him. Then the Roman army will come and destroy both our Temple and our nation.”

John 11:41-48 NLT
  1. In verses 41-42, notice how Jesus begins his prayer?
  2. Why do think he begins with thanking God?
  3. What happens after Jesus prayed?

After Jesus raises Lazarus many people who were there that day be believed in him. This upsets the religious leaders. In the next couple of weeks we will learn more about them and their plan against Jesus. The religious leaders didn’t realize why Jesus came. Jesus came to give eternal life to those who believes in him and follow him.

Christ promises to make us brand new if we believe in him. Have you ever seen a caterpillar spin a cocoon. What happens when it comes out of the cocoon? Instead of a caterpillar a beautiful butterfly emerges. It’s past as a caterpillar as has been forgotten. It no longer crawls around in its old body. Instead it soars. Jesus wants to forgive our past and make us into new creations. Will you give yourself to Jesus today?