QUESTION: Lazarus is one of the first official dead guys brought back to life. Lazarus was dead for a few days. Was it winter or summer? I am assuming Lazarus came back to life and looked normal, not all green and rotting. So, not only did Jesus bring him back from the dead, He restored his physical body too. Where was Lazarus when he was dead? What did Lazarus think when he came back to life? How much longer did he live? Did God kill him just for the purpose of having Jesus bring him back to life to show His deity?
Was Lazarus just totally blown away by it all and totally worship God and Jesus after that? What do you think was the impact on Lazarus to know that he had been brought back from death? I know if that happened to me I would definately be a believer for the rest of my life until I died again. Did Lazarus then know what to expect when he did die again? Did he look forward to it? Was he happy to come back?
RESPONSE: Virtually everything we know about Lazarus is in John 11:1-46. To the best of my knowledge, it was in late February. The temperature would have been about like Los Angeles in February. His sister was right to conclude that he had been long enough in those temperatures to start rotting (verse 39).
In a sense, yes – God let him die. (read verses 3-4, 6, 11-15)
Jesus cried because, well, read verses 3, 5, 33-35; As good as God’s will is, it is not any easier on those we care about than being a contestant on “The Biggest Loser.”
Yes, Lazarus would have come back to life healthy, but perhaps still with some of his boyhood scars. After all, Jesus still had his scars after His resurrection.
When Jesus faced the tomb and cried out in a loud voice (verse 43), “Lazarus, come forth.” He was speaking to Lazarus, not just to his body. So Lazarus seems to have been in the tomb when he was dead.
You can pretty well fill in what Lazarus might have thought when he came back to life from what you yourself might think. I think he would have felt bittersweet: sad that his eternal peace in God’s glory was delayed, happy to see the relief that it brought his loved ones, honored that he was playing an important role in bringing people to reliance on Christ and also into God’s eternal glory.
The Bible records unusual and significant acts of God and Christ. Because it does not record how long Lazarus lived, we conclude that the length of his live was normal and not unusual, that those who wanted to kill him because he was unwanted evidence didn’t. Surely he must have felt content with each day God gave him after that and content with when the end came.
Christ is amazing in that he does these incredible things in lives and then expects folks to function fairly normally afterwards (only incredibly different inside). For examples, Mary experiences all the miraculous surrounding Jesus’ conception and birth and then is left to raise Him as a normal mother. The shepherds in the field see all the armies of heaven and the baby in the manger and then are expected to return to the normal routines of their night jobs shepherding and to normal family life. Christ’s apostle Paul says we are like plain clay pots that have incredible, supernatural treasure inside. If a person has inner integrity, then after an experience like that, it would be hard for their reliance on Christ to ever be shaken as deeply as it might have been by trials and temptations before. Instead, they would have a quiet confidence in Christ no matter what.