Jesus’ Power over Death and Yours

Lazarus Was Brought back to Life by Jesus’ Power over Death

Updated

Power over Death

John – Chapter 11

Outline

  • John 11:1-3 – Jesus is informed that His friend Lazarus, who He loves, is sick
  • John 11:4-5 – Jesus says that this sickness will not end in death but is for God’s glory
  • John 11:6-7 – Jesus waits another two days, then tells His disciples “Let’s go back to Judea”
  • John 11:8 – The disciples try to convince Him not to go because the Jews want to kill Him
  • John 11:9-10 – Jesus responds that when we walk in the Light, we don’t stumble
  • John 11:11-16 – He also tells them that Lazarus is dead
  • John 11:17-32 – Jesus arrives in Bethany and comforts Martha and Mary, Lazarus’ sisters
  • John 11:33-35 – Jesus weeps and is moved, seeing the pain of the sisters
  • John 11:36-40 – Jesus asks to see where Lazarus is buried. They respond that he has been dead for four days
  • John 11:41-43 – When Jesus gets to the tomb, He shouts for Lazarus to come out
  • John 11:44 – Lazarus comes out from the tomb
  • John 11:45-48 – The Jews report the event to the Pharisees who call a meeting of the Sanhedrin
  • John 11:49-52 – Caiaphas, the chief priest, unknowingly prophesies that it is better for one man to die for the good of the whole nation
  • John 11:53-54 – Jesus privately retires in Ephraim with his disciples
  • John 11:55-56 – The Passover was coming and the Jews were looking for Jesus to see if He would go to the temple for the ceremonial cleansing
  • John 11:57 – The Pharisees order that anyone who knew where Jesus was, should report it so that they could arrest Him

Verse Selections

Jesus Is the Source of Eternal Life

In these verses, Jesus’ ministry to Martha reveals to her and us a powerful truth. He is more than a teacher or a prophet. He is the source of our life. For this reason, Lazarus’ resurrection is simply the manifestation of His life that cannot be overcome by physical death. Our present physical body is only a temporary container of our life. Eternal life is our true and final state.

Jesus’ Leading Question

Jesus’ question to Martha (John 11:23-16) is a way to open her heart to a reality deeper that what she can see. It was intended to help her to see beyond what her physical senses perceived. Her answer was an acknowledgment of Jesus as the Messiah, but did not demonstrate an understanding of what Jesus had revealed (John 11:27). That was as far as she could go.

Opening Our Eyes to Jesus’ Power over Death

Later Mary’s interaction with Jesus was similar (John 11:32). They both thought that Jesus could have prevented the death of their brother, but now it was too late. They loved Jesus. They believed that He was sent by God, that He was the Messiah. Nevertheless, they saw death as something final, something that even Jesus could not reverse. This perception is what Jesus wanted to change in ministering to them and to us, now.

Previously, Jesus had instructed the disciples to heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons (Mat 10:8). He had raised the dead before (Luke 7:11-15) but it was not enough for them to believe.

Jesus’ Attitude towards Suffering

Jesus was troubled, not because He was saddened by Lazarus’ death, because He knew how it would end but for their unbelief.

Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)

Jesus groaned int the spirit and was troubled by the suffering they were experiencing. He cared about their feelings. He realized how much suffering is the result of our inability to believe God’s promises. So, moved by compassion and love, He went beyond their ability to appropriate by faith and brought Lazarus back to life by His own faith.

Ministering in Faith Today

In a way, this is always true when we help others to receive. We must be moved by compassion for their condition, and have the faith to believe that they can be helped. We must believe that we can trigger their faith. We must act on that belief. We must receive for them with our faith. When we truly believe this, the Holy Spirit will direct us to do what we must do. This is how He directed Jesus to bring Lazarus back to life.

The Kingdom of God is Here

Can you see the scene? People are weeping and demonstrating aloud their sorrow, as it’s done in those countries. Jesus gets to the tomb and asks to roll back the stone. They think in their hear, “What a strange request. After four days, it is going to stink.” The crowd hushes and all the attention is on Jesus. The atmosphere is vibrant with expectation and questioning. He briefly thanks the Father for hearing Him. Then, suddenly, they are all shocked by the surprise. Jesus shouts at the top of His lungs, “Lazarus, come out!” Their hearts jump within them. There is not time for their logic to block God’s power. The faith of Jesus’ words penetrates deeply down to their spirit. It is done.  Lazarus appears, still in his burial bandages. His life returned, his body made whole-reconstructed.

Jesus demonstrated His power over death by bringing back to life His friend Lazarus three days after he died. This also shows that death does not end our life.

Jesus’ Followers Have the Same Power

The same power over death that worked in Jesus was available to the Apostles as reported in the Bible (Acts 9:36-42). Even today the same power is available to believers because the same Holy Spirit working miracles in Jesus has come to those who believe in Him. (Acts 2:1-4, 38-39)

This is the evidence of the Kingdom of God’s. It is a Kingdom more real than what our physical senses can perceive. It is a Kingdom that we are called to be part of (Mark 16:17-18), when we become born-again (John 3:3-6) and Spirit filled. Jesus said “Greater works than  these you shall do because I go to the Father” (John 14:12). The Promise of the Father (Lk 24:49, Act 1:4) and the power of the Holy Spirit, have come for us (Acts 2:1-4). We must choose what we believe, our sense knowledge or the Word of God. That choice is the beginning of the greatest adventure of your life.

Prayer of Faith

Father, I thank you for your Word and for the Holy Spirit. The power that Jesus demonstrated that day is the power that you have given us to minister to a suffering world through sign and wonders. Help me to have the freedom to hear and the courage to act on your promptings. That freedom comes from the love you have placed in my heart that is like the love that Jesus had.

In Jesus’ name, I come to you today to receive it. Amen!


© 2013 – 2019, Pastor Maurizio. All rights reserved.

Pastor Maurizio

About Pastor Maurizio

Maurizio Mingardi, in 1972, had an encounter with God that totally changed his life. From a scientist doing research in Quantum Mechanics and an atheist, Maurizio became a believer and a disciple of Jesus Christ. Then a spiritual journey began. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and later started Mount Zion Church of the Firstborn in Ottawa, Ontario. Maurizio has been in the ministry for more than 30 years and is presently the Senior Pastor of Mount Zion Church. He has also filled a number of executive positions in public and religious organizations. He has been elected President of the Evangelical Church Alliance Ministerial Fellowship of Canada. His goal is to help people to know God, discover and use their gifts and fulfill their destiny.
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5 Responses to Jesus’ Power over Death and Yours

  1. MariaM says:

    “We must believe that we can trigger their faith for them to receive and must act accordingly. ” This part I knew and have experienced but the second part, “Or that we can receive for them with our faith. When we truly believe this, the Holy Spirit will direct us to do what we must do.” This is a “new understanding” for me! When I read it, my heart went “Ah Ha!” Whether I can receive for someone else with my faith has been a stumbling block for me for a long time…It got in the way of me believing and receiving. But now I know…and the truth has set me free!

  2. RitaC says:

    At times praying for others was always a stumbling block for me too, especially if they knew that I was praying for them. I would think, well what if it doesn’t work? or … their will is involved and I can’t change that…. but a few years ago the pastor said something in a sermon that changed my thinking, he said, ” “Jesus had faith to minister to them to produce the results.” And also what he says today, “When we truly believe this, the Holy Spirit will direct us to do what we must do, as He directed Jesus to bring Lazarus back to life…. That’s the key, when we are open the Holy Spirit directs us on how to minister to people…. that has made a huge difference in my prayer life. Thank you pastor that your teaching helps us open our hearts and minds to the truth!

  3. CathyH says:

    Its interesting that both Mary and Martha could not imagine the possibility that Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead. As we have been talking about the gatekeeper in church this has made even more sense.
    Also when we minister to someone the responsibility is placed back on us to listen to the Holy Spirit and to have the faith so we can receive for them.

  4. Pastor Maurizio Pastor Maurizio says:

    We have a major part in ministry to others.

    It works that way for anything. God chose the man Jesus to bring His salvation to us, and now chooses us to bring salvation (any manifestation of it) to others. If we doubt God’s ability to reach then, our ability to minister or their ability to receive, the battle is lost.

    Faith (what we believe) is the basis of anything we do. When our beliefs are rooted in God’s logos, we are in a good place to be effective. Then we must hear from God about what we must do and not get in the way with our ideas. Jesus did only what He saw the Father doing. We must know what the Father’s will is and what receive the Holy Spirit direct us to do. Our mind can get in the way and it must be renewed with the Word of God. As we apply the Word to situations we will get results and learn from our successes and “failures”.

    If we remain in touch with God we never fail. We either win or learn.

  5. PeterCard says:

    There is a lot of good food for thought and appropriate action, in the comments above.

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