When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was [in Bethany],
they came, not only on account of Him but also to see Lazarus,
whom He had raised from the dead.
So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well,
because on account of him many of the Jews
were going away and believing in Jesus.
What an inspiring passage for a Christ-follower!
But also a sobering one.
Jesus’ enemies were already plotting his death at this point (John 11:45ff).
They were planning. Scheming. Conniving. I’m sure the thought of destroying Him once and for all sparked an excited tickle in their bellies.
Finally! The One who had caused them nothing but one major headache after another would be gone.
There was just one problem: He would be leaving evidence behind.
Not long prior, Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. As many times as I’ve heard the story, I still can’t really fathom it.
What a local celebrity Lazarus must’ve been! Did people ask for his autograph? Beg to have a piece of his cloak, or maybe even the grave-clothes?
I wonder if they thought perhaps Lazarus himself had healing powers, or was one of the prophets reincarnated.
Did the paid mourners at the scene revel in the attention garnered by their sensational story? I suspect Mary and Martha doted on their brother more than ever. “Figs with your bread for breakfast today, Lazarus, or dates?”
Lazarus had been undeniably dead. Until Jesus commanded his soul back into his body and his body out of the grave.
Well before Calvary and Resurrection Sunday, Jesus Christ’s resurrection power had already been proven in Lazarus.
And the sharing of that testimony made a difference.
So naturally, Jesus’ enemies were going to stop at nothing to see all evidence of Him and His power gone. Every trace eliminated.
Let’s fast-forward about two thousand years and consider Jesus’ enemy a little further. Not the chief priests who orchestrated his death. Certainly, they’re long since dead themselves. And besides, they were only tools in the hand of the true enemy: Satan himself.
Satan’s desire to see Jesus eliminated was thwarted on that glorious day when He came out of the tomb, alive and well. Which makes me wonder how much more Satan would love to trivialize all evidence of His existence.
Friends, that evidence is walking and talking and living and breathing in the form of you and me.
We are Lazarus.
We were dead in trespasses and sins, but because of God’s great love, He made us alive with Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:1-5). We were raised from the dead no less truly than Lazarus was. Hallelujah! Oh, let’s glory in it, shall we?
Your Essential Christian Testimony
But let’s not stop there. Because just like Lazarus, we have a story to tell. We have a witness to bear. We have a testimony to share. Maybe Satan isn’t out to kill us the way the chief priests wanted to kill Lazarus. But you can bet he wants to kill our testimony.
How can he do that?
Perhaps it’s by causing us to think we’re hopelessly enslaved to that addiction we just can’t seem to conquer. So who are we to share God’s miraculous freeing power?
Perhaps it’s by instilling a desire for approval from others, which breeds a sense of intimidation and fear of telling them what God has done for us.
Perhaps it’s by instigating constant strife in our marriage, which weakens our testimony of God’s love, forgiveness, and peace.
Perhaps it’s by nagging us incessantly with reminders of our past, which prompt us to suspect that God can’t use someone with our background.
His tactics are countless. But his goal is singular: minimizing evidence of God’s existence and His power.
Beloved friend, don’t let your enemy undermine the living testament you are to the power of God! It is a precious and sacred trust to walk through this world as living proof of God Himself. Be sober! Be vigilant! For your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (I Peter 5:8).
May many walk away from you and me believing in Jesus on account of the testimony we share and the evidence we bear of His miraculous power in us!
Want to know more about your Christian testimony? Check this out: