Jesus Raises the Dead

Today's Bible reading: John 11

This brings us to the last of the four main types of miracles – raising people from the dead.  There are only a select few of these instances, but they are among the greatest of Jesus’ miracles.  The raising of Jairus’ daughter … of the widow’s son at Nain … and of Lazarus, show that the Lord has power even over the final enemy: death.  These events, of course, point forward to Jesus’ own resurrection, and to the fact that in Him there lies the promise of eternal life.  As a matter of fact, after Jesus’ brings Jairus’ daughter back to life, the crowd’s response is: A great and mighty prophet is risen up among us” and “God has visited His people.”  Both responses come across as understatements, if not mildly disappointing.  All the cowd meant to say was that a great man of God - maybe the Messiah or maybe not - had appeared on the scene.  They were using the term “risen up” metaphorically.  But in Jesus’ case … the metaphor becomes literalJesus rose from the dead – physically … literally – for youfor me … for the forgiveness of our sinsOnly of this Great Prophet can we say in the fullest sense of the term that “He is risen up among us!”

Again, the crowd said that: “God has visited His people.”  All they meant to say was that God had cared for His people … that He had once more shown them His love.  But - once again - in Jesus case the word is loaded.  He is literally God – He is Immanuel” … “God with us.”  The Second Person of the Trinity came down from heaven to earth for us … and lived here for thirty-three years.  God indeed visited His people!  As is often the case with other crowds in the Bible, the crowd who beheld this miracle didn’t realize how truly it spoke!

John’s Gospel records what could be considered Jesus’ second greatest miracle: the raising of Lazarus.  The raising of Lazarus was “the last straw” for Jesus enemies.  From that day on, they plotted His death.  The reason: they at last correctly saw that this action implied divine power.

The miracles of Jesus show God’s power at work restoring our fallen world … and bringing life out of death, most especially by His greatest miracle – His glorious and victorious resurrection, all of which was done … for you, that you may be His own.

Prayer: Almighty God, through the miracles of Your Son, You showed us Your power at work restoring a world that is fallen, chaotic and in the shackles of death.  Be with us when we struggle with doubts and unfilled hopes and remind of Your words and works so that we are assured of Your saving love for us; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.