Read: John 11:46-57
Raising the dead is no small feat – and Jesus did this to demonstrate that he was indeed the one sent from God. Everyone knew that he could heal the sick and make the blind see, but now he had outdone himself. The news of his latest miracle in raising Lazarus from the dead reached the ears of the religious elite in Jerusalem who were disturbed by what Jesus was doing. They feared that they might lose their place of prominence among the Jews of Jesus kept it up. The Romans would remove them from power. This was not the first time they felt threatened by Jesus either (John 7:14-31). Jesus called them out last time to expose their hypocrisy. Caiaphas, the high priest that year, spoke from a prophecy that he had received concerning Jesus dying for the whole nation. He did not understand it for what it was – he thought that Jesus would die to preserve the nation of Israel politically and reunite the nation of Israel that had been dispersed throughout the Roman world. What was true, however, was that Jesus would die for their sins – but not just their sins, but the sins of everyone (John 3:15-17). From this prophecy, they made plans to kill Jesus. Apparently, this news reached Jesus ears so he stayed out of dodge until the time was right in Ephraim. The ruling leaders of the day thought that Jesus would be among the Jews who came to purify themselves at Passover. They did not know if he would come or not, and put out orders so people to report his whereabouts so they could arrest him, and ultimately kill him.
Chapter 11 concludes the part of Jesus’ life leading up to the Passion Week. The board was set: the Pharisees and priests wanted to see him dead, many believed in him, and Passover was at hand such that Jesus could fulfill the reason for which he came to earth. What has happened up to this point was John came on the scene with a baptism of repentance and preparing the way for the messiah. Jesus comes on the scene, starts baptizing people and his ministry grows. Jesus performs many deeds and teaches many that he is indeed the Son of God, claiming oneness and equality with the Father. He speaks of himself as the great “I Am”, the Good Shepherd, Living Water, The Bread of Life, The Sheep Gate, among others. All these teach that he is the source of life and truth. Given this, Jesus then goes to the cross to be lifted up so that he could draw all men to himself so they might believe and be saved from death.
Being these things was enough to prove that Jesus was who he said he was. John said that the purpose of writing the book was that some might believe (John 20:29-30). Those who did not believe in Jesus were those who had something to lose by it, namely the Pharisees, who felt threatened by Jesus. But even they realized that Jesus was something special – not just another prophet or wandering teacher. Having established this, it was time for Jesus to fulfill his ministry and go to the cross so that he, being the Lamb of God and of God, could be sacrificed even on behalf of these who did not believe for their sins. This perfect and complete sacrifice was once and for all (Romans 6:10, Hebrews 7:27). Only one who is of God could ever be the perfect and complete sacrifice and Jesus had showed he was just this.
Lord, you showed yourself to us! Help us to be confident in this fact!