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Lazarus

Among the most steadfast of Christ's disciples was Lazarus of Bethany, and he was greatly loved by the Saviour. For Lazarus the greatest of Christ's miracles was performed. The Saviour loves all the human family, but to some He
is bound by
peculiarly tender associations. At the home of Lazarus, Jesus often found rest. The Saviour had no home of His own. When weary, thirsting for human fellowship, He had been glad to escape to this peaceful household. Here He found a sincere welcome and sure, Holy friendship. As the multitudes followed Christ through the open fields, He unfolded to them the beauties of the natural world. But the multitudes were slow of hearing, and in the home at Bethany Christ found rest from the weary conflict of public life. Here He needed not to speak in parables. As Christ gave His wonderful lessons
Mary sat at His feet, a reverent and devoted listener. On one occasion, Christ's first visit to Bethany, Martha, preparing the meal, went to Him, saying, ''Lord, dost Thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me.'' Jesus answered her with mild and patient words, ''Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; but one thing is needful; Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.'' Mary was storing her mind with words from the Saviour's lips, words more precious to her than earth's most costly jewels. Martha needed less anxiety for the things which pass away, and more for those things which endure forever. The cause of Christ needs Marthas, with their zeal in active religious work; but let them first sit with Mary at the feet of
Jesus. Let diligence and energy be sanctified by the Grace of Christ. Sorrow entered the peaceful home where Jesus had rested. Lazarus was stricken with sudden illness, and his sisters sent to the Saviour, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick.'' They saw the violence of the disease that had seized their brother, but they knew that Christ had shown Himself able to heal all manner of diseases. They made no urgent demand for His immediate presence but thought He would be with them as soon as He could reach Bethany. Anxiously they waited. As long as the spark of life was in their brother, they prayed and watched for Jesus to come. But the messenger returned without Him. Yet he brought the message, ''This sickness is not unto death,'' And they clung to the hope that Lazarus would live. When Lazarus died
they were bitterly disappointed, but they felt the sustaining Grace of God. When Christ heard the message, He did not manifest the sorrow the disciples expected Him to show. He said, ''This sickness is not unto death, but for the Glory of God, that the Son of God might be Glorified thereby.'' for two days Jesus remained in the place where He was. This delay was a mystery to the disciples, for His strong affection for the family at Bethany was well known. ''These things said He; and after that He saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.'' Then said His disciples, ''Lord if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death; But they thought that He had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.'' Christ represents death as a sleep to His believing children. Their life is
hid with Christ in God, and until the last trump shall sound those who die will sleep in Him. *see 1Corinth 15:51-54* ''Then Jesus said unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent that ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.'' The disciples marvelled at Christ's words. Had Christ been is the sickroom, death could not have aimed its dart at Lazarus. He permitted the suffering sisters to see their brother laid in the grave. He suffered every pang of sorrow that they endured. He loved them no less because He tarried, but He knew that for them, for Lazarus, for Himself, and for His disciples, a victory was to be gained. To all who are reaching out to feel the guiding hand of God, the moment of greatest discouragement is the time when Divine help is nearest. From
every temptation and trial He will bring them forth with firmer Faith and a richer experience. Christ had tarried so that by raising Lazarus from the dead He might give to His stubborn, unbelieving people another evidence that He was indeed, ''the resurrection and the life." On reaching Bethany Jesus sent out a messenger to the sisters with the tidings of His arrival. The message was given to Martha so quietly that others, even Mary, did not hear. Martha went out to meet the Lord, but Mary sat still in her sorrow, making no outcry. Martha's heart was agitated by conflicting emotions. In Christ's expressive face she read the same tenderness and love that had always been there., but she thought of her dearly loved brother. Martha had no inclination to recount the part, but looking into the face of love, she
added, ''I know, that even now, whatsoever Thou wilt ask of God, God will give it Thee.'' Jesus encouraged her, saying ''Thy brother shall rise again.'' His answer fixed Martha's thoughts on her brothers resurrection. Martha answered, ''I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.'' Seeking to give a true direction to her faith, Jesus declared, "I am the resurrection and the life.'' In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. *1John5:12* ''He who has the son has life; He who does not have the Son does not have life.'' *John11:34* And Jesus said, ''Where have you laid him?'' They said to him, "Lord, come and see. 38."Then Jesus again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.'' 39.Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead,
said to Him, Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days." 40.Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the Glory of God?'' 41."Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ''Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.'' 43.Now when He had said these things, He cried in a loud voice, "Lazarus come forth!" 44."And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose Him, and let him go." 45."Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him."


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