Because of this, many of the Jewish leaders who had come to console Martha and Mary in their grief began to believe in Jesus. However, some of them went to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done.
The Pharisees and the chief priests convened the Sanhedrin and said “What should we do since this man is performing miracles? If we let him keep doing this, everybody will believe he’s the Messiah! Then the Romans will destroy our Temple and maybe even our nation.”
Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said “You don’t know anything! You don’t realize that it is to our advantage that one man should be sacrificed instead of the whole nation.”
Caiaphas was not speaking for himself when he said this but in his role as that year’s high priest. He was prophesying that Jesus was to die to save the nation. This sacrifice was not just for the nation but also to draw together all the children of God who were scattered around the world.
From that day on the Jewish authorities began to look for ways to kill Jesus. Because of this, Jesus no longer went openly among them but instead went to stay with his disciples in a town called Ephraim, which was in the countryside near the wilderness.
Jesus was filled with a deep anger when he heard this and approached the tomb. The tomb was in a cave and there was a large stone covering the entrance. Jesus asked them to roll the stone aside.
Martha said “He’s been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”
But Jesus said “Did I not say that you would see the glory of God if only you believe?”
So they rolled the stone away from the entrance to the tomb. Jesus raised his eyes and said “Father, thank you for listening to me. I know that you always listen to me, but I’ve said this now because of the crowd which is here, so they can believe that you sent me.” After saying this Jesus shouted, “Lazarus come out!”
Lazarus walked out of the tomb covered from head to toe with the linen cloths that he had been buried in. Jesus said “Remove the burial cloths and release him.”
Martha then went to speak privately with her sister, saying “The Teacher is asking for you.” Mary immediately got up to go to him. Jesus was still where Martha had met him just outside the village. The Jewish leaders who had been consoling Mary noticed how quickly she had left, so they followed her. They thought she was going to cry at the tomb.
When Mary saw Jesus, she said “Lord, my brother wouldn’t have died if you had been here!”
Jesus was distraught when he saw that she and the others with her were crying. He asked “Where have you placed him?”
They answered “Come with us and see.”
The Jewish leaders said “Look! He must have loved him deeply!” But others said “Couldn’t someone who healed a blind man have prevented this man’s death?”
Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days by the time Jesus arrived in Bethany. The village was about two miles away from Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish leaders had come to comfort Martha and Mary about their brother’s death. Martha went to meet Jesus as soon as she heard he was approaching, but Mary stayed sitting right where she was at home.
Martha said to Jesus “Lord, my brother wouldn’t have died if you had been here. But even after all this time I know that God will grant any request you make.”
“Your brother will live again.” Jesus assured her.
Martha thought that Jesus was talking about the resurrection of the dead on the last day, but then Jesus said “I resurrect people and restore them to life. Anyone who believes in me will never really die. Even if his body dies, he will have eternal life. Do you believe what I am saying?”
Martha answered “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the long-awaited Messiah, the Son of God.”
A man named Lazarus from the village of Bethany was sick. He was the brother of Mary and Martha, who also lived there. Mary was the lady who had anointed Jesus with fragrant oil called nard and then used her hair to wipe his feet. The sisters sent a message to Jesus, saying “Lord, someone that you love is sick.”
When Jesus received the message, he said “This sickness will not lead to death, but to the glory of God. The Son of Man will be glorified through it.” Even though Jesus loved the three of them, he didn’t start to go to them until two days later.
The disciples challenged him when he told them that they were going to Judea, saying “The Jewish leaders want to stone you to death, and you want to go there again?”
Jesus answered “There are twelve hours of daylight every day, where people can walk without stumbling because of all the light. People stumble at night because they don’t have light.” Then he said “Lazarus has merely fallen asleep, and I’m headed there to awaken him.”
The disciples said “Lord, he’ll get well if he has just gone to sleep.” They did not realize that Jesus was talking about his death, so Jesus spoke plainly to them. “Lazarus has died. I’m glad that I wasn’t there at that time so you will have another reason to believe in me. Let us be on our way.”
Thomas, nicknamed “Twin,” said to the others “Let’s all go and die along with him.”