To Remember: Jesus is the resurrection and the life

  • resurrect: to come to life again after death
John 11:1-44 For readers, use the linked script and have students read the various parts.
Life of Jesus BingoLazarus was a good friend of Jesus. His sisters, Mary and Martha, were also devout followers of the Lord. So when Lazarus was ill, they called to Jesus, asking Him to come and heal Lazarus. But Jesus waited. After a couple days, he told the disciples he was going to Bethany. Now Bethany was only two miles from Jerusalem, where there were Jews who wanted to kill Jesus. The disciples felt it was dangerous to go there. But Jesus was not afraid. He knew that God would protect him if he did the Father's will.

When Jesus arrived, Martha met him on the road. She told Jesus Lazarus wouldn't have died if he had come sooner. But she also added that she still believed the Father would do anything Jesus asked of him. Her faith was very strong. Jesus said Lazarus would live again. Martha replied that she knew he would rise again on the last day. Jesus answered, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" Martha said yes, she believed Jesus was the Messiah.

Then Martha went back and sent Mary to Jesus. She also told Jesus that Lazarus would not have died if he had come sooner. The other Jews gathered around wondered why this great healer didn't heal his good friend. Jesus was greatly upset and asked to be shown where Lazarus lay. He told them to take away the big stone that blocked the tomb. Martha protested that it was so late, the body would be decaying already. But Jesus reminded her of the glory of God. Jesus thanked the Lord for answering his prayer, so that the crowd would believe God sent him. And he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" And he came out of the tomb, still wrapped in the burial cloths.

Discussion: Many people misunderstood why Jesus delayed going to Bethany. They all believed Jesus could heal and didn't know why he would let Lazarus die. There are many today who do not understand why God doesn't heal all their problems. Discuss why Jesus allowed Lazarus to die and why God may allow troubles in our lives today.

For younger kids, talk about how we don't always know where are parents are taking us, but we trust them to take care of us. God is our Father, and although we may not always know ahead of time where He is taking us, we should trust that He will care for us.
Discussion: Mary, Martha and their friends all believed in Jesus' power to heal. They believed that He was the Messiah. But still Jesus wanted to increase their faith. He wanted them to see the full power and glory of God, to give substance to His promises. They said they believed in the resurrection on the final day, but had not yet seen God's power to raise the dead. It was distant to them -- not connected to their current life. Jesus allowed Lazarus to die in order to show God's ultimate power. Discuss how this tragedy turned into a terrific source of faith in their lives. How they could then proclaim to others, "God can raise the dead!"

Sing:He's got the whole world...

A color image of Martha approaching Jesus at Lazarus' death.
A color picture of Jesus and Martha outside Bethany.

O Death, Where is Thy Victory?

Worksheet: WordFind: Lazarus .pdf courtesy of Deborah Johnson

Acting Out:
A script taking the passage about Lazarus and dividing it into seven parts

True or False

  1. We will all be resurrected one day. T
  2. Jesus performed miracles in order to impress people. F
  3. Jesus really didn't care about Lazarus.  F
  4. Mary and Martha believed in Jesus' power to heal. T
  5. The disciples always understood why Jesus did things. F
  6. We will always understand how God is working in our lives. F
Memory Work:
John 11:25 "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live,"
John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me."
Review Questions for gameboard

 linguistic questions
  1. Define resurrection.
  2. Put these words in order:  am life and the I the resurrection
  3. Play a quick game of "telephone". Have the student whisper a sentence into the ear of the next classmate, and pass it on until it comes back to the first student.
  activity questions
  1. Jerusalem was two miles from Bethany. Have students guess how far two miles from the meeting house is. Then give them a landmark to show how far it is.
  2. Play a short game of Simon Says, with the student as Simon. Discuss how we all must follow God's word like Simon says. We do what he says to and we don't do what he has not authorized.
  3. Print graphic and cut into a puzzle for student to piece together.
  emotion questions
  1. How do we know Jesus was touched by the grief of Mary and Martha?
  2. How do you think Mary and Martha felt when Jesus didn't come?
  3. How do you think they felt when Lazarus came back from the dead?
application questions
  1. Why did Jesus want to show them God's power to raise the dead?
  2. Who else did Jesus claim would be raised from the dead?
  3. If God doesn't answer our prayers, does it mean he can't do what we ask?
 review questions

  1. Why did Jesus wait before going to Bethany?
  2. Did any of Jesus disciples or friends understand what he was going to do?
  3. Did Jesus know how his miracle would affect them?
  4. How did Martha show her faith in Jesus?
fact questions

  1. Who believed in Jesus' power to heal?
  2. Was Lazarus a stranger to Jesus?
  3. Did Jesus know Lazarus would die?