Lazarus, and his sisters Mary and Martha, lived about two miles from Jerusalem in a town called Bethany. Lazarus became extremely sick, so his sisters sent for Jesus. He was a friend of their family. They said, “Lord, your friend is sick.”
Jesus waited two days after getting this message. He then said to his disciples, “We’re going to Judea.”
They said, “Lord, it’s not safe to go there. The Jews are looking for you so they can kill you.”
He said, “Our friend Lazarus is asleep, and I need to go wake him up.”
“Lord, it’s good that he’s asleep. It’ll help him get better.”
Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead! And it was for you that I didn’t go sooner. What I’m about to do will help you believe in me. Now, let’s go to Bethany.”
Thomas said, “Well, we might as well go and die with him.”
When they were almost there, they learned that Lazarus had been dead for four days. Martha heard that he was coming, so she went to meet him. “Lord, you could’ve healed my brother. He’d be alive today if you would’ve been here. I know all things are possible with you.”
Jesus said, “Martha, your brother will rise again.”
“I know, Lord. He’ll be a part of the resurrection in the last day.”
Jesus said, “I’m the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live, even if they die. They will always be alive—forever. Martha, do you believe this?”
“Yes Lord. I believe you’re the Messiah, the Son of God.”
She then went back to their house and whispered to her sister. “Mary, the Teacher is here and is asking for you.”
Mary got up and ran to Jesus, and others followed her. When she got to him, she fell at his feet. “Lord, my brother would still be alive if you had come sooner.” She then started to cry.
Jesus was greatly moved when he saw Mary and the others crying. He said, “Where did you put him?” She got up to take him there. With that, Jesus started crying.
They took him to the place where they had laid the body, which was a cave with a stone across the entrance. When Jesus saw it, he said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha stepped forward. “Lord, he’s been dead for four days. By now, the smell will be great.”
He turned to her, “Remember what I said? If you believe, you’ll see the glory of God.”
So, she stepped back, and the men removed the stone. Jesus looked up and prayed, “Father, I thank you that you always hear me. Take this miracle and use it to help people believe that you sent me.”
He then looked at the entrance to the tomb and shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”
All eyes turned to the tomb. Suddenly the dead man came out, still bound with linen cloth from head to foot. Jesus said, “Unwrap him, and let him go.”
Many of the Jews believed on Jesus that day. But when the religious rulers heard about it, they called a council. It was decided that Jesus must die before everyone believed in him.
They also made plans to kill Lazarus, because his resurrection was causing so many people to turn to Jesus.