John 11:11-16

After Jesus had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Nearing the end of his life on earth, Jesus received the word that his friend Lazarus was deathly ill. Intentionally, He waited “two more days” (11:6) where He was staying by the Jordan river, until Lazarus had died. After this, Jesus decided, “Let us go back to Judea” (11:7), to the village of Bethany, where Lazarus and his family lived. However, Bethany was just two miles outside Jerusalem, where the Jews tried to kill Jesus by stoning for His claim to be the Son of God (11:8; 10:31-39). There was incredible danger in returning to Judea, yet Jesus entered into the shadow of death in order to return the gift of life to Lazarus. In what ways does this challenge our lives of comfort? In what ways do we love to live at ease by the river Jordan, at the center of our own popularity? In what ways is Jesus calling us near to death, near to our own Golgotha, in order to restore life to those robbed of it? Hear the voice of Thomas, the response of faith: “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

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