Jesus’ raised Lazarus from the dead. This action is a sign of who Jesus is; the promised Messiah and the Son of God. And Jesus has the authority to give life (John 5:21) and to resurrect the dead (5:28-29). It also demonstrated Jesus’ claim to be “the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). John had said, “in Him was life and the life was the light of all humankind” (John 1:4). The eternal life that Jesus gives begins here and now for those who believe in Him. The gospel is called good news because God has acted in time and history on behalf of people and offers, by His grace, eternal life to all who turn to Him in faith and receive their forgiveness and freedom, free of cost.
At the time Jesus raised Lazarus, many people were rejecting Jesus because He was not measuring up to their expectations of a political deliverer. Jesus’ claim to be the good shepherd who lays his life for the sheep baffled people. Jesus, however, knew that as the Good Shepherd He must give His life for the sheep (John 10:11, 15).
While Jesus’ discussion with Lazarus’ sister, Martha, reveals Jesus’ divine authority over life and death, His discussion with Mary also reveals Jesus’ perfect humanity (John 11: 28-37). Jesus was “deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (v. 33). Jesus even wept (v. 35), so that those around Him said, “See how he loved Lazarus” (v. 36). This is very reassuring to us as it was to Mary. These actions reveal the tenderness of Jesus’ heart, that as the Good Shepherd He also cares. Jesus’ display of His love and compassion also sets the stage for the miracle to follow. The raising of Lazarus from the dead, declared Jesus to be the Master of humankind’s last and most merciless enemy, death. Even today, in our most desperate death like circumstance the compassionate Jesus is with us, and we can experience His presence by calling upon Him.