Posted by: Jo | August 31, 2012

Jesus, the Overcomer of Death

Face to Face with Jesus Part 10 of 10

…Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (John 11:44)

imageToday in our final series on coming face to face with Jesus, we witness the ultimate messianic sign in the dramatic and awe inspiring miracle of a man, Lazarus, on the command of Jesus, walking forth from the tomb after being dead for four days and then coming face to face with Jesus, his Saviour. We also learn deep theological truths about who Jesus really is and the hope we all have in eventually living with him in eternity. We also get a glimpse of the human side of Jesus as he weeps for not only the death of Lazarus, but for the sorrow death brings in its wake for all mankind.

This story is given supreme importance in John’s gospel and is faithfully recorded for all future generations, not just as an astounding miracle, but as a deep revelation of the work of Christ and as a compelling question we all need to answer for ourselves.

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25 – 26)

The story is found in John 11:1 – 44

During this story we become aware of great spiritual growth in two of the persons who have been close to Jesus during his ministry on earth. The first is Thomas. When Jesus tells the disciples that Lazarus is not asleep , but dead, the most unlikely one, Thomas, suddenly shows great devotion and courage and completely trusting Jesus cries out to the other disciples,

“ .. Let us also go, that we may die with him.” (John 11:16)

A wonderful example for us to be brave enough to step out in faith and follow Jesus even if we are not sure what lies ahead.

imageThe other person exhibiting a much closer awareness as to who Jesus is was Martha. We have an impression of Martha from a previous episode (Luke 10:41), as a very down to earth person worried about the basics of life, but here we see a woman of great faith as she tells Jesus that even though her brother was dead, she is certain that God would grant Jesus anything he asked,

“But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” (John 11:22)

Another wonderful example for us to believe completely in the power of seeking the Father through his son, Jesus.

Then with supreme confidence she answers his question as to who he is,

“Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the son of God, who was to come into the world.” (John 11:27)

When Jesus arrives at the grave site we have the most poignant picture of the deep love the Saviour has for his people. His tears flow as he absorbs the pain death brings about, not just for Lazarus and his family, but for all of us, and knows that he himself will experience that pain so that we may live.

Imagine the joy of Lazarus when he hears the voice he loves calling him to come out of the cave and then to feel the grave clothes falling to the ground and then finally his eyes uncovered to behold, face to face, his Saviour.

imageEach one of these face to face occurrences that we have read over the last ten weeks have been recorded purposely for us to take note and as we finish this series it is good to reread God’s word and place ourselves in the stories and to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the message for us personally and this is our promise to keep close to our hearts until it is fulfilled;

“They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” (Revelation22:4)


  1. Jo – It was a great idea you had to do this series. It’s certainly given me things to think about, and I’ve enjoyed it. All of the details of Scripture need to be considered and you have done a good job with that.
    From this one,I like thinking of Jesus when he wept – He was weeping for us – He understood what our sin has done.


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