(The following is the April 19 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read John 11 and pay close attention to verses 38-44.)
There could be no more significant sign of Jesus’ divinity during his earthly ministry than raising people from the dead. The account of Lazarus’ death and subsequent events is dramatic. It involves anxiety, grief, teaching about resurrection, and confusion about Jesus’ delay in visiting Lazarus. It continues with Lazarus’ miraculous rising from the dead and others’ responses, which range from believing in Jesus to plotting to kill him.
Can you imagine being outside Lazarus’ tomb four days after his death? Martha warned Jesus about the stench if anyone moved the stone from the entrance, as Jesus requested, but they removed it anyway. Jesus prayed and shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” (v. 43), and the once-dead man walked out. Jesus called Lazarus from physical death to life, and Lazarus had no choice but to obey. Our God is so powerful over all his creation that he can speak, and life conquers death. Lazarus wasn’t asleep or in a coma; he was dead. But when his Creator shouted, “Come out!” Lazarus had to obey. In a moment, he passed from death to life for the glory of God.
Until humans know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, they are as spiritually dead in their sins as Lazarus was physically dead. Lost sinners can no more do anything to overcome spiritual death than Lazarus could to overcome physical death. The only one who can bring life from death is Jesus Christ, who can do it with a word.
If you have experienced the new life that comes only through Christ, know that your salvation happened not because of anything you did but because God called you from death to life. Your response was repentance and faith. Praise him for his greatness and grace that called you from sin’s dark tomb into his marvelous light of new life.
Who do you know who needs transformation from spiritual death to life? Keep pleading with God on their behalf. Be open to God using you in his plan as a witness for their salvation.