Lazarus, Come Forth!
TEXT: John 11:1-8,14,17, 38-48, 53
Jesus stood outside the big, dark cave. In front of it was a large stone. He looked at the people standing around Him. Many were crying. Their good friend Lazarus had died and was now buried in that cave. Jesus looked at Lazarus' two sisters, Mary and Martha. He had visited them and Lazarus many times in their home in Bethany. They were always so glad to have Jesus come and eat dinner with them when He traveled to their city. Most of all, they loved to listen to Him talk about His heavenly Father and about the things God had planned for them.
Jesus saw how sad Mary and Martha were now. He knew how unhappy they felt because their brother had died. They were His friends. Jesus loved them, and He loved Lazarus too. How sad He felt. Tears ran down Jesus' face.
Did you know that's the way Jesus is? He always knows exactly how we feel. When we are sad, He feels sad right along with us. Jesus wants to take away our sadness. He wants to take care of us and help us feel happy.
As Jesus stood by the cave, He decided it was time to show the people just what God could do. He gave a command to the people standing with Him, "Take away the stone!" At first the people did not think that should be done. "He has been dead four days," they told Him. But Jesus said that if they would believe, they would see the glory of God.
Slowly the stone was taken away from the cave. Then Jesus prayed and said, "Father, thank You for hearing My prayer." Jesus knew that God always heard His prayers, but He wanted the people to know that He really was the Son of God.
After Jesus prayed, He cried out in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" And that's exactly what happened!
Lazarus was still wrapped in grave clothes as he came into sight. Jesus told the people to unwrap him and let him go. How glad they were to see him. Lazarus, who had been dead, was now alive! Mary and Martha and all Lazarus' friends were so excited!
The people who saw this miracle told others about it. Soon, many people began to believe that Jesus really was the Son of God. He had made the dead to live again!
That was a wonderful miracle! But even more wonderful is the miracle that Jesus does when He saves us. Life here on earth is important, but it's more important to be ready for Heaven. There we will have eternal life with Jesus.
This lesson tells about one of Jesus' final miracles—the raising of His friend Lazarus from the dead.
For the primary child, the focus of our teaching will be on life. Try to help your child visualize the scene portrayed in the lesson by talking about how thrilled Lazarus' sisters must have been to have their beloved brother restored to them.
This week challenge your child to make an alphabet book illustrating the life that Jesus gives. Have him cut out or trace a picture of a living thing beginning with each letter of the alphabet. If he cannot find a picture, let him write on the page a word beginning with that letter and illustrate it by drawing a picture. Let your child mount the pictures and assemble them into a book. Title the book "Alphabet Alive."