Get Up Lazarus!
John 11:1-44 For readers, use the linked script and have students read the various parts.Lazarus 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.
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...
Graphic: A color picture of Jesus and Martha outside Bethany.
Worksheet: 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
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,"Review Questions for gameboard linguistic questions