Raising Lazarus – Bible Story for Children

Raising Lazarus is my attempt at explaining Bible stories as if I’m seeing them through my own eyes. Each of my stories is a miracle of Faith, performed by Jesus in the New Testament.  Zeke is a made-up character, but the rest of the characters are real. 

Bible Story – The Raising of Lazarus

Historical Fiction for Kids Based on John 11:1-45

 

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:” John 11:25

 

“He’s too late.”

These were the only words that Zeke heard as he wandered through the dusty streets of Bethany. He walked by two old women with wrinkled, withered faces and his curiosity was aroused when you heard their gossip.

“Did you hear Lazarus died?”

“Oh yes, his poor sisters.”

“And Jesus still hasn’t shown up. It’s been four days since the death!”

Here the second lady snorted.

“And he calls himself a family friend! Bah.”

“Oh yes, family friends are often enemies. Why I once knew someone whose niece’s husband’s cousin, twice removed was…”

Zeke lost interest in their gossip and moved on in a restless manner from the spot where he had been standing. As he walked, he thought of Lazarus. They had been talking about nothing else all week. As the rumors went, he had fallen ill and his sisters Mary and Martha were beside themselves with worry. They sent a message to Jesus telling him that the one he loved was sick, but Jesus had not arrived. In fact, as the old ladies had been saying, Lazarus had been in the tomb four days already and still not the slightest sign of the so-called Messiah. There had been much talk about Jesus recently, how he had turned water into wine, how he had made the blind to see. Even stories of those crippled for life suddenly able to walk. But bringing a man to life? Impossible!

“Maybe.” Zeke mused as he walked, “Maybe, the message did not reach Jesus and he isn’t aware that Lazarus has died. But, if he is the Messiah, wouldn’t he already know?”

Was Jesus the promised Messiah?

Distracted by this confusing thought, Zeke forgot to look where he was going. All of a sudden he was bumping heavily into a white-robed man and falling to the ground. He scrambled to his feet and started to apologize but trailed off as he looked into the stranger’s eyes.

They were the kindest he had ever seen and every feature on this man looked perfect. It wasn’t a hard cold beauty. Instead, it was a gentle, compassionate, and warm. It went further than just fair to look upon. The man’s mouth looked like it had been made to smile at children and bestow kind words upon hurting people. The hands radiated the miraculous power of healing. But, Zeke was drawn back again and again to the man’s eyes. They seemed to shine with love so deep, so overpowering, that it was as if such things as fighting hatred and pain never existed, Instantly Zeke knew that this was no ordinary man.

“Jesus”? He tried to speak strongly but noticed with a cringe that his voice squeaked on the second syllable. The man smiled.

“Yes.” he said gently.

Zeke stood transfixed by the perfection of his voice. His mind was racing  And he had so many questions. Had Jesus received the message? Why had He come four days too late? Would he bring Lazarus back to life? Did he even have the power to do that? The young boy opened his mouth to ask these things but was stopped short as a young woman with a tearful face ran up the dusty road and fell weeping in front of Jesus. Zeke backed up a few feet and stared at the woman. She clung to Jesus’ robes, and spoke, sobbing.

“Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died.”

Zeke nodded to himself. Of course. This was Mary or Martha. Jesus lifted the woman’s face and stared at her gently.

“He is asleep.”

“No Lord,” she replied sadly. “he died four days ago.:

“Thy brother shall rise again.” He said, helping her up. Again, the silent power of this man’s voice impressed Zeke.

“I am the resurrection and the life. Do you believe this”?

The woman nodded, but just barely.

“Thou art the Christ,” she whispered. “The Son of the Living God.”

After saying that she ran back down the dusty road and it was only then that Zeke realized that they weren’t even in Bethany. He had wandered pretty far down the street before bumping into Jesus.  Zeke and Jesus were moving closer to town when another woman ran down the street. This one bore a close resemblance to the other one, and of course, had to be the other sister. She too cried, but her grief stayed gentle, and she said the same thing as her sister.

“Lord, if you had been there my brother had not died.”

Jesus helped her up off the street and began walking toward town.

“Where have you laid him”? He asked softly.

The sisters led him to a tomb where a group of Jews was standing solemnly, and the first sister was there also,

“Mary!” she cried out when she saw them,

Zeke made a quick mental note “Okay, the first one was Martha, the second Mary.

Jesus turned and looked at the group of people, and he wept.

Whispers went through the people.

“He must have loved him very much.”

“Then he should have been there.”

“He was too late.”

Zeke started growing angry with the comments, and he noticed that the crowd was getting bigger and bigger.

Jesus probably had a very good reason why he hadn’t been there. He just didn’t want to explain why. This is what the boy thought, but he too soon felt the pangs of doubt. Could Jesus really bring Lazarus back to life?

“Behold,” Jesus spoke. At once, the crowd hushed.

“Take away the stone.” He commanded.

A group of men rolled away the stone.

“Lazarus come forth.”

Everybody held their breath, and for one awful moment, Zeke thought that nothing would happen. But then dirty, dusty, and wrapped in linen, Lazarus exited the tomb.

Mary and Martha stood stunned for a moment but then ran into their brother’s arms, weeping for joy. Excited, loud whispering raced through the people of Bethany, shock filling the warm air.

Zeke stared in awe at Jesus, this man who had the power to make the blind to seem the lame to walk, and the dead to live, and he realized something. Jesus had not raised Lazarus from the dead to prove anything. He had done it to reflect the power of who He was, who his father was. As Martha had said earlier, He was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. No longer were the people of Bethany doubting. Instead, many of them made the greatest decision of their lives. They believed. 

And that Zeke knew was what had just happened to him.

He believed.

“Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him.” John 11:45

Kirsten Schmutzler

About the Author

Kirsten Schmutzler

Kirsten has given her life over to God, to use in whatever way He chooses. She currently takes classes at the local Junior College, where her focus is English Composition and is also starting her final year of Faith Bible Institute. Her future plans include transferring to a Bible College in Oklahoma and obtaining a degree in education.