Resurrection Of Lazarus, Jews And Jewish Tradition (john 11:1-44)

resurrection of Jesus1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.

The story begins with introducing to us Lazarus (in Hebrew Eliezer, which means God will help) who resides in Bethany (in Hebrew Beit Aniah, which means the House of the Poor). These Hebrew names are not coincidental.

Bethany was not far from Jerusalem (there was also a Bethany across the Jordan river). There are many reasons to think it was a very special village. It is likely that this village served as one of the Jewish Essene diaconal centers. These centers were spread throughout the ancient Jewish world. Essenes (a Jewish sect) were known for their commitment to serve the poor and sick. Incidentally, there seems to be a strong connection between sections of the Essene community and the early Jewish believers in Jesus movement, but this is a topic for another time.

It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill.

It is interesting and somewhat surprising that John makes this comment so early. The reason is because the incident of Mary anointing Jesus, is not recorded until next chapter. This means either John wrote his Gospel after the other Gospels, expecting people to be familiar with the story, or more likely that the story had already circulated orally and John assumed that the hearers were familiar with it.

So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

There are remarkable parallels here with between the raising of Lazarus and the healing of the man who was blind from birth. In one case light is given and in the other case, life. Interestingly enough both themes are the major themes alluded to in John 1:4: In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Also, the reason for both Lazarus’ death and the man’s blindness was for God’s glory (John 9:2-3 and John 11:4).

(Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.) So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”

If we read vss. 5-6 they make little sense (since Jesus loved them, why didn’t he come immediately). If we read the text carefully, we will quickly realize that verse 5 is a parenthetical comment inserted between vss. 4 and 6. This means verse 6 (“So when he heard…”) continues as the end of vs.4 (“it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it”.) So no one would think Jesus did not truly love the family, the parenthetical comment was added – “Now (you must know) Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus”.

The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

If we attempt to understand the Jews here as being the Jewish people, the sentence would  sound completely ridiculous. Clearly, the Jerusalemite authorities who were seeking Jesus’ life are in view here. We must continue to remember John’s statement in the prologue that summed up Jesus life, death and resurrection: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) Jesus is referring to the light that illuminates the world. Remember, in John the world does not always mean humanity at large, sometimes it means Judea and its inhabitants.(John 7:3).

11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.” 17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.

Jesus clarifies for his disciples that his close friend Lazarus had died. What is important in vs.17 is John’s statement that when Jesus arrived in Bethany it was already the fourth day. This explains why after hearing the news that Lazarus was very sick “he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.” (John 11:6) Jesus knew how long it would take to travel to Bethany. He was determined to arrive, not only after Lazarus’ death, but when, according to popular Jewish belief, resurrection was no longer possible – on the fourth day!

18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.

Lazarus, who may have been an Essene, and his family were given fully to the service of the poor and sick in Bethany. He was highly respected by the hoi Ioudaioi. Many, hoping to bring them much needed comfort, came to mourn together with Martha and Mary. It is in this story that Jesus makes his final strike against the stronghold of unbelief within the Jerusalem priestly elite. He was about to resurrect a respected member of the Jerusalemite religious society in plain view of members of the hoi Ioudaioi. This would necessitate a response of faith in Him. Mary and Martha were being comforted by their own people from among the Jerusalemite ruling establishment.

20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”

Martha told Jesus that if he would have come within the three days when resurrection was possible, he could have resurrected her brother. Her faith went even further and she said “even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you!”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

Martha is careful, seeking not to raise her own hopes too high. She probably thought to herself: “Jesus seems to be saying that my brother will be resurrected, but he could be referring to some distant future.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.

Jesus’ point was simple. Martha must stop thinking of him as the one who can ask God for resurrection and receive a favorable answer from on high. She must understand instead that Jesus is the Logos of God, the God who gives life. In Jesus’ own words – “I am the Resurrection and the Life.”

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Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” 28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.

Apparently Jesus remained outside the village for a time since enough time lapsed for meetings and conversations to occur. Vs. 30 is another parenthetical comment in which the author is clarifying the meaning of his story as it unfolds.

31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.

What is important here is that the author highlights the fact that when Jesus spoke with Mary outside the village, some of the hoi Iouidaioi who had come to comfort the family followed her. This indicated that they witnessed this exchange. The Hoi Ioudaioi who followed Jesus outside of the village both saw what happened and heard most of the interchange between Jesus and Mary.

32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Mary repeats Martha’s regret (John 11:21). We can imagine that this had been discussed in their family circle.  

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.

Here we see Jesus enter the suffering of humanity and his connection with hoi Ioudaioi as never before in this Gospel. Jesus saw Mary and members of the hoi Ioudaioi grieve passionately over the passing of Lazarus. He was deeply troubled.

How burials occur within a particular culture tell us a much about the people’s worldview. Christian culture is always solemn, but festive when it comes to the burial of a righteous man. Grief is always mixed with hope and celebration. In Jewish culture, while the resurrection of the righteous is also affirmed, there is a strong belief that when a righteous man dies the world suffers loss.

The balance of good and evil is tipped, at least at that moment, towards evil. While the righteous man is taken away from the world’s evil, those who remain have lost significantly and in a sense, are left to fend for themselves.

34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”

A brief excursion into Jewish burial practices of the first century will be helpful here. Jews of the first century in the Land of Israel buried people twice. When someone died. the body was first wrapped in a cloth and placed in a cave for a prolonged period of time. After the body decayed and only bones remained, they were collected into a special box called an ossuary. The ossuary was then placed together with other ossuaries of family members, and put into a family tomb. Jesus, realizing that the first burial had already taken place, asked where they had laid the body. They responded “Sir, come and see”. The word Lord, used here in Greek, is not a confession of faith that Jesus is the incarnate God, but simply a respectful term of address.

35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

No other section of the Scriptures shows Jesus so deeply full of emotion. His full divinity and full humanity meet here in the expression of his grief. He did not just cry. He wept. His reaction (even though he knew he was about to resurrect Lazarus) was fully compatible with the Jewish practice of grieving and wailing. The Hoi Ioudaioi who witnessed this exchange concluded that Jesus indeed loved the same person they appreciated so much for his service to the community of the poor and suffering.

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”

One can see that the crisis of the hoi Ioudaioi’s opposition to Jesus was deepening. Now it was not only those from Jewish Galilee and a few members of the system that began to take interest in Jesus. Many who came to comfort the Lazarus’ family were moving toward a positive view of Jesus. Their regret was “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” Remember, they were not talking about resurrection. Their reasoning is therefore very logical. If Jesus could give sight to the man born blind who had never seen light, surely he could have given healing to a man who was sick. One action was much greater than the other. However, none of them realized what Jesus was about to do.

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, 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 the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”

Martha told Jesus to stay away from the entrance of the tomb since the smell of a decaying body would be overwhelming. She once again pointed out that Lazarus had been dead for 4 days. You will recall that Jesus’ arrival was perfectly timed for the resurrection to take place on the 4th day, when it was believed that resurrection was no longer possible.

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”

Earlier, Jesus had told Martha that arriving on the fourth day would not limit him. Resurrection was not something he would do with his Father’s help. Resurrection and Life are both the essence of what Jesus is. He is indeed the Word/Logos/Memra of Israel’s God, and he was destined to show the world his Father’s Glory.

43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”

Some tombs were extremely deep and they literally included a tunnel to get to the actual place where the bodies were deposited. So it is not surprising that when the stone that functioned as a door would be rolled away, Jesus would call Lazarus in a loud voice. This was not to make this event more dramatic, but was that the resurrected Lazarus could physically hear the voice of his Life-giver from afar.

44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

John (or whoever wrote this Gospel that was later attributed to John) was an eyewitness who was concerned with detail. He mentions something that no other Gospel says. Lazarus, when he came out of the tomb, was not covered with one piece of cloth but with two. His face had a cloth that was separate from the body shroud. Today, when ancient Jewish burials have been discovered, this description is confirmed. Jews indeed buried the way John described. John was a local. He was an insider. He was an eyewitness.

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  1. RamonAntonio

    This conversation has a life of its own. Who knows where, if whenever, it will get. Excellent!
    The discussion about the nature or understanding of angels in the Bible will never end. I do think that some agreements must be stipulated:
    1. There are various figures of language reffering to celestial beings:
    – angels as such, ie. Messengers from God. Usually those who interact with humans some way or the other and convey God’s commands.
    – non human forces that act over human activities, ie. The column of fire and the column of smoke that protected Israel against Pharao’s forces.
    – the living beings that usually accompany the manifestation of the Kavod or the Glory of God as in the vissions of Ezzequiel and Isaiah.
    – the sons of God mentioned in Job as beings that are in the presence of God in his court.
    – the nephilim which do not need further explanation.
    – and if we delve into Jewish writings we have the sar happanim or princes of the presence who are “doubles” of certain humans who are present before the Kavod at the same time than existing in human form. This is a very complex issue right now.
    2. The translations of the Bible interpreted these various creatures or manifestations in diverse ways with a tendency to conflate one for another.
    3. Other religions had various manifestations similar to celestial beings which attributes, form or capabilities closely match the Bible’s depiction of angels. The Acadian Querub is in fact a dragon and most probably they are the true rendition of the ones in the Ark of Covenance.
    So, it is very difficult that anyone make a definitive statement of the needs of such a variegated collection of whatevers they are, which we are talking about or what menu they like. I would recommend caution such as the criptic exposition by Dr. Eli which I find sufficiently elloquent on reflecting the complex issues that speaking of angels entails.
    But please, go on… Wisely as always…

    1. Rafael

      I think I may disagree with a few things you said. But I opt to address only one. I said nothing about what menu they like, only that they ate. The rest, perhaps another time.

  2. alfredo

    Hi Rafael: I’ll address your statements quickly.
    “Of the three visitors of Abraham, all three ate. Two of them were angels, and one of them was God.” I think you might have a preconceived idea about those three men. Carefully reading, the scriptures in Gen 18 state that they were men (using the Hebrew אישׁ) when referring to them, not celestial beings. In Gen 18:13 God speaks, but reading carefully you can’t point out that one of them is who speak. Actually, you can read in Gen 18:22 that the men went to Sodom, but Abraham stood yet before the Lord.
    Later, in Gen 19:1 we read that two angels (not three men) went to Sodom. The scriptures don’t say that those two angels were two of the three men that were with Abraham before. But even if they were, you should know that the Hebrew word translated as angel actually means a “messenger”, not necessarily a celestial being.

    Strong H4397 מלאך
    mal’âk mal-awk’
    From an unused root meaning to despatch as a deputy; a messenger; specifically of God, that is, an angel (also a prophet, priest or teacher): – ambassador, angel, king, messenger.

    About the tree of life, since the Bible is a Jewish book and the New Testament are scriptures written mostly by Jewish men (except Luke and Acts perhaps), I would think that there is a need for us to understand clearly what is the tree of life from a Jewish perspective. I have a very limited idea of the Tree of Life at this moment, so I guess I have to read more about it, following the rule that the Scriptures are Jewish.

    Shavua Tov lekulam !

    1. Rafael

      You obfuscate the issue (which I’ll clear up below).

      Also, you have overlooked verse 1 of Genesis 18. It does not say that יהוה SPOKE to him, but APPEARED to him. Then the entire chapter elaborates on that statement. Verses 13 to 33 make it clear that this was the appearance mentioned in verse 1.

      Verse 9, “they” refers back to the “they” of verse 5. Verse 10, “he” is clearly one of the “they” in verse 9. Verses 12, Sarah laughed as a result of what she heard in verse 10, meaning that there was no delay. Verse 13, the Lord speaks directly to verse 12, again, no delay. Verse 13 makes it clear that the “he” of verse 10 is the Lord. Verse 14, the speaker is clearly the same as in verse 10. And verse 14 makes it clear that this is not just any “lord”.

      The only way that you could possibly be right is if there is some sort of break between verse 9 and verse 10. But there is nothing in the text to support that. In fact, you would have to twist the natural reading of the passage to do so.

      Since the “Lord” was clearly one of the 3 “men”, and He remained behind, then the “men” in verse 22 had to be the other 2.

      I think you are being thrown by the apparent shift in wording at the beginning of chapter 19. It seems like these 2 are not the same 2 as in the previous chapter, aside from it being “2” in both cases. But you overlook one crucial difference. These are eyewitness accounts. And the eyewitnesses of chapter 19 are different from those of 18. That alone will account for this difference.

      And in Genesis 19, verses 21-22 make it clear that these 2 were celestial beings. And these are the same 2 “men” of verse 10, which are in turn the “angels” of verse 1, which sufficiently answers your challenge regarding “angel” vs “celestial being” vs “man”, at least well enough for the issue at hand. These celestial beings and the “Lord” ate food.

      Let me know what you conclude regarding the Jewish concepts of the Tree of Life.

    2. Shara H.

      Alfredo, no man has seen God and lived. Jesus Christ reflects God to mankind and is the mediator between God and Man. He is the second Adam. Paul the Apostle contrasted Adam and Christ as two corporate personalities or representatives (Rom 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:20-3, 45-9) and saw human beings as bearing the image of both Adam and Christ (1 Cor. 15:49). Where Adam’s disobedience meant sin and death for all, Christ’s obedience more than made good the harm due to Adam by bringing righteousness through His perfect sacrifice (Rom 5:12-21).[8] As a “life-giving spirit”, the last Adam is risen from the dead and will transform us through resurrection into a heavenly (7 years) followed by the millennium kingdom, and new heaven and earth (1 Cor. 15:22, 45, 48-9). Thus Paul’s Adam Christology involved both the earthly Jesus’ obedience (Rom. 5) and the risen Christ’s role as giver of the Spirit (1 Cor. 15).[9] lease re-research that scripture.

  3. alfredo

    Dr. Eli. I agree. Both bodies are PHYSICAL. My opinion is that there is a difference in that physical element between a body that does die (like ours at this moment) and one that is eternal (like the one Yeshua had after His resurrection).

    1. Rafael

      I think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be.

      Scripture clearly indicates that the tree of life will be growing like a weed (my words) along the rivers coming from the throne of God in Mt Tzion (the new Jerusalem). It says that those trees will yield 12 different fruits.

      Firstly, what purpose would it serve to have that tree in heaven at all if our glorified bodies don’t need it? Angels don’t need it. So who is it for?

      Secondly, if our glorified bodies are like the glorified body of Yeshua, then does this not suggest that his body needs this fruit as much as ours? But he ‘IS’ life, right? I do not dispute this. But just as God worked 6 days and rested the seventh, as a pattern for us, this may be another example for us to follow.

      Whichever the case may be, after Yeshua ascended, he could eat freely of the tree of life. This is one major difference between his resurrection and the resurrection of anyone else. Unless they ascended into heaven, they did not have that fruit to eat.

      But don’t get me wrong. That is not what makes a body into a glorified body. One key difference is that the heart of our mortal body, a heart that is desperate to be wicked, will be wholly replaced by a new heart in the glorified body, a heart that desires to do only what is right.

      1. alfredo

        Hi Rafael. When you write “Firstly, what purpose would it serve to have that tree in heaven at all if our glorified bodies don’t need it?” I haven’t said that glorified bodies don’t need to eat…

        Actually, both Adam and Eve were made to live forever, yet, they still ate… Yeshua after His resurrection, did eat also…

        Now angels are a different kind of creatures… they are not humans… they don’t need to eat…

        1. Rafael

          Alfredo, you make some good points. But you also overlook a few.

          My point was not about eating. It was about the need for the tree of life.

          But you make an error in regard to eating. You cite that Jesus ate after his resurrection as evidence that he needs to eat. But you also state that angels don’t need to eat. Of the three visitors of Abraham, all three ate. Two of them were angels, and one of them was God. Using your own logic, then angels DO need to eat, as does God. So clearly, this line of logic is faulty. The only thing we can truly deduce from this is that angels and God CAN eat, not that they must.

          But using a different line of logic, you said that angels are a different kind of creature, that they don’t need to eat. But that begs the question: how many kinds of creatures aside from Man are there? Many thousands (many millions if you break it down into species). That begs the next question: how many of them need to eat? Well, all the ones I know about. So why would angels be any different? I have no good answer.

          So now, back to what I said. The tree of life, who’s it for? We already know that angels don’t die. But is that because they have access to the tree of life? Well, if that were the case, then wouldn’t the fallen angels be dead by now? So it seems to me that the angels have no need for that tree, whether they need to eat or not. So who is that tree for?

          Scripture clearly states that it’s leaves are for the healing of the nations. This shows that there is still illness during the millennium, outside Mt Tzion. But being sinners, none of them can enter to get the leaves. This, for me, is proof that the inhabitants of the city can come and go, as also evidenced by the fact that the pearly gates are never shut. But I digress. The leaves of the trees of life have a stated purpose, a physical use. So what physical use do the 12 fruits of that tree serve. Logically, the same that it would have for Adam and Eve in the garden.

          For me, the logical conclusion of this tack is that the glorified body doesn’t need to be physically different from the mortal body, at least not in a simple physical sense.

          There is only one part that I know of that needs to be different in the glorified body, namely the heart. Our mortal bodies have hearts that are desperate to be wicked. Our glorified bodies will have hearts that desire only to do good, like the heart Yeshua had in His earthly body, like Adam and Eve had also. But it won’t be possible for the adversary to deceive us, just like Yeshua in his earthly body.

          Having said all that, something else occurred to me that suggests that it may not be as simple as I was thinking it to be. Those who are cast into hell have bodies that are not destroyed by the fire, neither by time. Same thing goes for the worms there.

          Something else that just occurred to me: if we have the power to do miracles, then why would the nations need the healing of the leaves of the tree of life? This suggests that either we won’t have the power to do miracles, or we have the power and don’t use it, or that we don’t go outside. But if we don’t go outside, then how do they get the leaves?

          I got it! We’ll have leaf-blowers! LOL!

          1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

            Rafael, I usually don’t approve comments that long. I will this time, but please keep your longer comments twice as short in the future. Blessings to you and thank you for your participation. Dr. Eli

  4. alfredo

    I like what César de Jesús is mentioning about the differences between Yeshua’s resurrection and Eliezer’s (Lazarus) resuscitation.

    Can you think of a difference between a body that has a physical composition that will allow it to die, that it can be corrupted and decays, and another one that is composed in such a way that it can live forever? This difference would explain a lot (if not all) of biblical passages that you read all over the Bible:

    Genesis 1:29-30 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. [All animals were vegetarians. No need to kill each other to eat food.]

    Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning the sixth day. [Was death present at this moment? No. All was VERY good.]

    Genesis 2:15-17 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” [Adam had to work. He had to eat. He would live forever unless he eats from the forbidden tree.]

    Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. [Something has changed. Adam and Chavah (Eve) are now naked. Their “covering” is now gone.]

    Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [The Glory of God does not cover us anymore.]

    Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return. [Now Adam would sweat, he would get tired when working, and food he would have to harvest. Death is upon him from now on.]

    Romans 5:12 12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned [Death entered the world. All the creation experiences violence and death. Today a wolf eats a lamb.]

    Romans 8:18-21 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. [All creation suffers and awaits for the children of God to be covered again with the Glory of God.]

    2 Corinthians 5:1-3 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. [God will cover us again with His Glory. Our bodies will be incorruptible again!]

    Isaiah 11:6-8 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the cobra’s den, and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest. [In the world to come, animals will live together. All animals will be back to their original state, when they all were vegetarians, including us. The actual “natural” food chain/web will no longer exists…]

    Isaiah 65:25 The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent’s food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,” says the Lord. [No more harm, nor destroying anything. Just as the Gan Eden (Garden of Eden).]

    Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” [Yeshua came to recover not only man’s souls, but the whole creation.]

    Psalm 16:10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your holy one see decay.

    Yeshua’s resurrected body was different. Unlike Eliezer (Lazarus), Yeshua had a body that would not decay. No wonder His disciples could not recognize Him after His resurrection:

    John 20:15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

    Luke 24:15-16 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

    John 21:12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      All resurrection including Jesus’ is a PHYSICAL resurrection (not only in spirit). It is a different type of physical resurrection.

  5. Cesar De Jesus

    It is important view the different between resurrection (Like Yeshua named Jesus) who lives for ever or resuscitation (like Lazarus and others) who die again.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      My apologies to approving this comment and replying to it with delay. We can argue of definition of terms and seek to use more theologically precise terms of course. I do not think that in this case what you are suggesting is necessary, though of course possible. We of course agree that the resurrection of those who will die again are qualitatively different from those who will never die again.

  6. Peter Michael Thornber

    This interesting and inspiring comment illustrates an application of one of Jesus’ ”I AM” sayings: ”I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”.

    The Way – as is well said in this post, the name for, the watchword of, Jesus’ first followers.

    The Truth – they witness to the truth of His life, His words, His message which is authenticated and certified by

    The Life – His new Resurrection Life as foreshewn in Lazarus [cf. the dry bones in Ezekiel xxxvij and the ”many bodies of the saints which … arose, and came out of the graves after His Resurrection, and went into the holy city and appeared unto many[Matt. xxvij]]

    1. Shara H.

      and the ”many bodies of the saints which … arose, and came out of the graves after His Resurrection, and went into the holy city and appeared unto many[Matt. xxvij]] this section has been show to be a forgery. I will get the research (there are several sources) for Dr. Eli . It’s not found in older texts.

      1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

        Shara, I will work on this when we get to Matthew. After John we pick up Mark.

  7. RamonAntonio

    In the book “Discovering God” by Rodney Stark, the author makes some interesting analysis of the spread of Christianity and some posible explanations. He uses some very creative demographic data to explain how the concept of witness was critical to the spread of Christianity. And the witness issus is amply developed by the author.

    Witness, as used in that book, are third kind contacts, thus personal contacts, with Jesus Himself or with direct witness of Him. The author develops a case, backed up by his statistical approach, that the fast expansion of Christianity was directly dependent on the ample base of witnesess of the resurrected Jesus that were able to preach the personal relation that Jesus impacted upon them and specially, that He was still alive after his public death.

    My comment to Alfredo is then as follows:
    The hosts of ressurrected after Jesus death included Himself, Lazarus, probably the second in importance after Jesus Himself, the others resurrected by Jesus Himself, the many ressurrected when Jesus died and the ones resurrected by the apostles. The total of resurrected was probably in the hundreds and they were direct witness of Jesus godly power. The effect of these witness created the direct foundation of witness that sustained the apostles preaching of the Gospels, the original kerygma of the Church. Thus, and this is the important thing, THE WITNESS BECEM IMPORTANT AS WITNESS OF JESUS AND NOT OF THEMSELVES. Their importance and impact in the nascent Church was that of being witness to Jesus and this became the mantra of Christianity, whose original name as religious movement was “the followers of the road” or simply “the road”. And that would be the answer to Alfredo’s important question, the ressurrected became the founding stones of the Church as witness of Jesus. They were the one’s who not only provided testimony but direct evidence of Jesus divinity. The fact that they were as dead as Jesus was and were now alive provided the arms lenght evidence that the kerygma was real and certain and that Jesus was also alive. Those were the ones who were mentioned by the Apostles and the Fathers in their homilies. Their witness testimony about Jesus became their story and their names became lost in time for the story that mattered, as told by themselves, was the testimony of a real and living Jesus that would become real for anyone who heard and believed their testimony. Christianity is the story of those witness and ressurrected because for Christianity, the only important matter is Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

    1. Rafael

      What you wrote reminds me of something I read in a Jewish children’s prayer book (ArtScroll Children’s Siddur).

      A Closer Look
      Two letters in the first sentence of Shema are larger than the others: the ע and the ד. When you put these letters together, they spell עד, which means witness. This means that when we say the שמע (Sh’ma) we are witnesses telling the whole world that Hashem is the only true God.

  8. guillermo cortez

    Very good teaching Lazarus really is excellent as it is his real name and that jesus hope four days, you will really appreciate it and for taking the time to teach through this medium. The ETERNAL GOD OF ISRAEL fill it with more wisdom to continue in this great mission. A virtual hug

    Muy buena la enseñanza de Lázaro , realmente es excelente , ya se su nombre real y porque jesus espero 4 días, deberás se lo agradezco mucho por darse el tiempo y poder enseñar a través de este medio . Que el ETERNO DIOS DE ISRAEL lo llene de mas sabiduría para que continué en esta gran misión. Un abrazo virtual

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dear Guillermo, thanks for your comment and welcome to our forum. Dr. Eli

  9. Alfredo

    Dr. Eli:

    Regarding to this event, I have some questions that arise:

    1. What ever happened to Lazarus? He briefly appears later in the Scriptures. Having come back from the dead, why his life after death experience was not recorded, or was it in another ancient texts? Did he died again later on?
    2. What is the difference between Lazarus resurrection and Jesus resurrection? 1 Co 15:20 says that “Christ is the firstfruits of them that slept”. But according to this passage, Lazarus resurrected before Christ.
    3. What ever happened to those saints whose bodies arose from their graves after Jesus resurrection? (Mat 27:51-53) They are not mentioned at all afterwards. Did they died again later on? According to Revelations, there is only one resurrection (thus only one death) for the saints. (Rev 20:5-6)

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      I would leave it to group’s feedback. Friends can you speak to Alfredo’s questions.

    2. Shara H.

      Jesus was raised in the new body. (the only one so far until the Rapture)
      Lazarus kept his old body and it was restored to health.
      Remember, Jesus raised others from the dead, as well. He restored them to their old bodies. They died natural or unnatural deaths during their lifetime and are now dust (awaiting the new body like the Lords).

  10. RamonAntonio

    This conversation is indeed wonderful! I would like to share some reflections on the mysterious issue of Father, Son and Holy Spirit without getting into specific beliefs or disbeliefs between religions, ie., dogmas.
    The issue that we can summarize as the trinity is indeed absolutely biblical. It starts in Genesis… “… and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters…”. After that cameo from the spirit the Torah goes directly to God as Creator untill El, one of the gods of Ur, appears in the story speaking to Abram. El makes the covenant with Abraham (interestingly in the form of three visitors, not one) and identifies himself as the God of Israel after the famous struggle and renaming of Jacob as Israel, the one who struggled with God. This name form under the guise of the Lord or the angel of the Lord then becomes the God that reveals himself to Moses and names himself something along the lines of Yahwe written as the tetragrammaton being so sacred that no one should dare to pronounce it. Significantly here, Yahwe makes three interesting claims for himself: That he is a god of the living not of the dead, that he is a perpetual god and that he is the one who made a covenant with his people and will forever honor that pact. What he is saying is that he transcends our timelines. Then after liberating his people, the prophets start to say that a Messiah from god will come to free his people again.

    Then came Jesus. And Jesus comes born of a woman, then at the age of twelve states that he has to attend the things of his father and at around 30 the spirit comes again in the form of a dove and posses himself again over the waters, this time of the Jordan, over Jesus. In his first encounter with a Pharisaic leader he starts talking about the spirit. This imperfect summary just reflects that all the elements of the trinity are present along the Bible and it can’t be more biblical than that. In fact, if we erase all references to Father, Spirit and Son the resulting story is discontinuous.

    I would also want to contribute another look to the issue, this time taking into account Information Theory, entropy, relativism and the interaction of time and space and genetics.

    If an eternal God inserts himself in his own created reality which happens to ocurr in time space He would have a lot of explanations to make in order that time space creatures get a grasp of an eternal God. An eternal God, by definition doesn’t exists because HE is outside time space. We creatures do exist because we do begin and we do end. Then, the expression Father, Son and Holy Spirit become another thing, an approximation of a situation and actions from an eternal God in relation to a finite creature. When we start to look at Jesus from somewhere near this state of affairs, eternity vs time space existence, His doings, His signs, His ministry and his Gospel acquire a new dimension, in fact, a dimension of eternity.

    Maybe that is the central message of Jesus by accepting His own death as the Will of the Father for through this death HE will be able to express that He is God and death can’t define His existence as it can define ours. And maybe, just maybe, this is his central message… That in order to be totally adherent to Him, we have to completely abandon our creature nature time space point of views and adopt an eternal look at things which require ultimately that we disregard our time space protagonism as conscious beings and become something totally absurd, an eternal life procurer that commenced and certainly will end, that follows Jesus at any cost even if that cost, as present circumstances reflect in many places at this time, can mean certain death just for saying that we are followers of Jesus.

    And that , my friends… IS NOT EASY…! But maybe, just maybe, that is precisely what he meant when He said that by adhering to His name we will face prosecutions, danger and sometimes… even death. His guarantee is that death will not prevail upon us because in the end, HE is the Master of Life and Death, in fact HE is Life and Death…