Seven Signs – John 11

After the events we read of in John 11, Lazarus moved/fled/travelled to Cyprus and became a well respected church leader there. There is a beautiful church in Larnaca called the church of St. Lazarus, and visiting it you would think that actually Lazarus was resurrected unto eternal, not resuscitated back to physical life for the time being, the way it honours him and his life and what happened to him.


But, when you think about it, Lazarus didn’t do anything here, Lazarus is not the resurrection and the life, is he. 

Lazarus is the preview, not the proof. Lazarus is the sign, not the destination.


Interestingly, in that church is a marble coffin, found in Larnaca in the year 890 AD, and on the side is written ‘Lazarus, four days dead, friend of Christ’. 


But, as interesting as the place is, as interesting as seeing the coffin is, as much as I would recommend a visit if you are ever in Cyprus, sadly, there is just one tiny picture of Jesus resuscitating him stuffed in the corner of the basement. So close, but so far from the main point of this. Lazarus is the sign, not the destination.

Marking the miracle, saving the sign, great. Not seeing what the sign is actually pointing to, the fact that Jesus is the resurrection and the life, not Lazarus, is not so great. 

This text, John 11, teaches us that Jesus is Lord over death and resurrection, death and life. But let us not get stuck looking at the sign. Lazarus is a model of those who die in faith, a hint, a foreshadow, a type, a preview, not the resurrection and the life. Jesus is. He made this claim and used a sign to verify His claim.

Lazarus was resuscitated, Jesus was resurrected. 

What was hinted at in Lazarus was shown for all its glory in Jesus. 

Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life

The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, 

and the one who lives and believes in me will never die. 

Jesus previewed this in Lazarus,

Proved this in Himself,

And promises this for you. 

Something we all wrestle with is the question of ‘What does the future hold for me?

Well, as a believer in Jesus; who He is, what He has done, what He will do, your future holds an unshakeable hope in the here and now, but also a sure and steadfast hope for the future that your future contains resurrection and life.

Jesus previewed this in Lazarus,

Proved this in Himself,

And promises this for you. 

Don’t get stuck in the preview, see the preview, see the proof and claim the promise. Your future is one of life, of hope, of resurrection in Christ. 

You don’t need to ever fear the future and fear the strong emotions and reaction that Jesus had (vv.33-38), because He has conquered death and the grave, you are…raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Your future is not one of fear, of death, of sadness, but one of peace, of life, one of resurrection.

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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