Jesus was frequently speaking in a way that said more than one thing. More than one thing to me. More than one thing to each and every generation. Also, His words sometimes were meant for us, for our mothers and fathers, for their great great great grandparents, and for the people who were there in the days of His life on earth.
We are clued into this the day He spoke in the temple. The chief priests asked “By what authority do You do this?” (Matthew 21)
He answered, “destroy This Temple and I will build It again in three days.” He was speaking to them of His body, The Temple of God. They thought He was talking about the temple they were all standing in. He was talking about His resurrection, where He would be risen again after being destroyed.
The Bible tells us that Jesus meant something deeper. In the next example, Jesus’ meaning is not there for us to read, but to meditate on and figure out on our own. There are at least two things we may learn from Lazarus being brought from death to life.
Lazarus was dead for four days before Jesus came to raise him. Jesus’ words, most people do not recognize, command demons and angels as well as people. When we are born, we are “bound” by sin. Satan has gotten all of us tied up in selfish and godless desire somewhere from conception to first breath. Pay attention: this is what was said when Jesus raised Lazarus:
“Lazarus, come out.”
Lazarus woke up, covered in burial clothes.
When Jesus said “unbind him” could it be that He was speaking both physically to the people there, and spiritually to the demons who had already bound sin to Lazarus’ flesh? Maybe Lazarus had given his life to God already and, being saved it was not necessary for Lazarus to have to move backwards in his relationship with God.
That is the first bit of information and here is the second:
Let’s assume Lazarus was saved. I mean truly saved. Then when Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, He was taking him from a place of peace and rest with The Father and back into the world. We know that when we are friends of righteous people, sometimes we suffer for their sake. If Lazarus had given his life to God then he was willing to suffer for the sake of God’s mission. Being taken from paradise and back to earth would have been suffering for sure.
It says that Jesus groaned within Him and that He cried during this episode. Jesus, I am sure was empathizing with His friends, and with Mary and Martha; To top it off He knew that in being obedient to His Father, His friend Lazarus would tragically have to be brought back to life. We would have been crying too.
Sometimes we assume we know why something is happening, like Jesus crying. But upon further investigatory prayer we find out that there is more to it than we initially see. The more we glean, the more we learn who Our Savior truly is. This kind of truth drives home what it says in 1 Corinthians 2 and helps us to recognize that Jesus suffered for us in many ways, even when surrounded by friends. “But He who is spiritual judges all things, yet He Himself is rightly judged by no one.”