Dead Men Do Tell Tales

Dead men tell no tales. That is an old truism but there is one case where it is just not true. There was one man that died and came back to life and when he told his tale, people believed. They believed in Jesus. The man who came back from the dead was Lazarus. He and his two sisters were disciples and friends of Jesus during his walk on the earth. Word came to Jesus that Lazarus was dying. Everyone thought that he would jump up and race to Bethany to heal his friend. Why not? He had healed many before that were not close to him. Of course, they thought, Jesus would heal Lazarus BUT he didn’t go immediately to Bethany. He waited. He waited until Lazarus was good and dead. Like Scrooge said, “Deader than a doornail.”

When Jesus did arrive Mary and Martha had many visitors moving in and out of their house wishing condolences. Some of them were angry with Jesus but no one was more angry than Mary and Martha. Mary wouldn’t even rise to go see Him. Martha raced from the house and got right in Jesus’ face. She wanted to know why He had not come to heal Lazarus, her brother. It was then that Jesus called out, “Lazarus come forth.” And the dead man walked out of the tomb.

The Gospel of John 12:9-11 tells us that later “a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.

Lazarus became public enemy number 2 because this dead man’s tales proved that Jesus had the power over life and death. How frightening that must have been to the religious leaders when they discovered Lazarus walking among the living, that people were responding to him, and believing that Jesus was the Messiah. Dead men do tell tales and you better listen when they do because they have come back to tell the truth.

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