Christ the Creator
By Dr. Rafat Amari
Christ, as seen in the book of proverbs, is the eternal Wisdom and power of all creation
In the Bible, it is a fact that Christ is the Creator. This is seen throughout all of the books of the prophets of the Old Testament and the writings of the New Testament, all of which are inspired by God. Regarding the deity of Christ in the Old Testament, I will limit myself, for the lack of space, to discuss a few verses from the book of Proverbs (written in the 10th century B.C.) and another few verses from the book of Isaiah, ( written in the 8th century B.C.).
The book of Proverbs, chapter 8 portrays Christ as the "Wisdom of the Trinity,” whose power created all things.
Regarding the concept of the Cosmos, the Bible differs,
from all other religions in that it does not consider the Cosmos as consisting
of different layers of a building; rather the Bible speaks of "The great
deep" to mean "the vast space of the Cosmos." The Persians
imagined the Cosmos as being formed of 7 layers bound together by a mountain,
rising up from the celestial sea beneath them. This mythological Persian concept
so strongly influenced all the sects, who were born in contact with the
The book of Proverbs mentions the pre- existence of the Son of God, sitting with the Father, as the process of creating the universe unfolded. In chapter 8, verse 27 we read:
"When He prepared the heavens, I was there; when He set a compass or (circle) upon the face of the deep."
We see that God did not plan a Cosmos of a building of seven layers), but he drew circles on the vast space, or the deep. Before incarnation, Christ declares that He was there when the first circle was made upon the vast space planned by the Triune God, indicating that He was participating, as a person of the Trinity, in the planning of the creation of the universe.
The same chapter of the book of Proverbs, (the book of Proverbs mostly was inspired to Solomon around the year 950 BC) attributes the creation to the Son of God, as we see in the 30th verse:
“Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman. And I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him.”
Christ as a person of the Triune God, through His creative power, is the one who brings forth the world that the Triune God had planned. This fact is indisputably established in many books of the Old and New Testament.
From verse 27, which I quoted above, we see that God planned the universe as a vast, deep expanse with circles drawn upon its surface, which represent the orbits. God, in the planning process, fixed these orbits in order to regulate the movements of the stars and the Galaxies. This is the true scientific concept, since we know today that the universe is built on the fantastic order of the orbits of the stars and the galaxies. For example, the earth orbits the sun, and the sun orbits the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Our sun is located in one of the spiral arms of the galaxy. The diameter of our galaxy is about 100,000 light years across, and the sun is about 25,000 light years away from the center of the galaxy. The Milky Way galaxy continuously circles clockwise around its own axis. Therefore, even the sun itself moves as a part of this larger galactic movement at a speed of 170 miles per second – around 270 Kilometers per second. It is estimated that the sun would require 200 million years in order to circle one time around the center of the galaxy.
As we have seen from the verses that I quoted from the book of Proverbs, Christ planned the planetary orbits with the Father, and He brought them into existence in this universe according to His marvelous plan. Christ is the creative person in the Trinity, who executes the creation of everything that the triune God plans.
The Deity of Christ as Seen in the Ninth Chapter of the Book of Isaiah
In Isaiah chapter 9, Isaiah prophesies about the birth of a divine child, who is Christ, and speaks of great blessing coming to earth. In verse 6, Isaiah specifies that: “For unto us a Child is born,” and that all the blessings that the earth will receive will come through this divine child.
He’s not born for the sake of one family as
most newborns, but He was born “unto us,” each of us, all humanity. The words
the angel repeated to the shepherds when he gave them good tidings about the
birth of Jesus echoed Isaiah’s words, “unto you a child is born.” He was born,
not only for the shepherds but, for all people everywhere.
He was born to compensate for the inability of each of us to live the holy, perfect life that pleases God. Christ was born to live a life of righteousness and holiness. In the light of His perfect moral and spiritual conduct, humanity will be evaluated in the light of the requirements by which God expected men to live.
Isaiah continues verse six with the phrase, “Unto us a Son is given.” He is more than born; He is given. He came from heaven to earth, born with a human nature like us but without sin. He is “the Son,” a great bestowal to the human race; a great gift born with a sinless human nature, but also with a divine nature. He is the everlasting Son of God.
When Isaiah says He “is given” he means that Christ existed before His birth on the earth. He existed in everlasting fellowship and unity with the Father in the Godhead. The love of God the Father is so great for humanity that He sacrificed His only, everlasting Son who lived among us in this harsh earthly environment and died on the cross for our redemption. You’ve heard these words before in what may be the most quoted words in the New Testament, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
Isaiah continue verse six when he repeats God’s promise “And the government will be upon His shoulder.” The divine child was prophesied to be head of humanity. He will lead the
He is the leader that will be seen in the presence of the people who received Him as Savior. He is our leader, example and Lord, not only of earth, but of heaven; not only now but also throughout eternity. We read in the book of the Revelation in verse 17 of chapter 7, “For the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Does the prophetical paragraph of Isaiah define the One who was to be born; does it present something that would help in identifying His personality? One of the titles Isaiah gives to this glorious child is “Wonderful.” Isaiah says, “And His name will be called Wonderful,” divinely attributed to Him since only God is inscrutable and unfathomable. His greatness can't be encompassed or contained by our limited minds. He is wonderful in His greatness, holiness and other attributes that His creatures can't have.
When Manoah, the father of Samson, asked the pre-incarnate Christ who appeared to him in form of an angel, about His name. He answered in Judges 13: 18, “Why do you ask My name, seeing it is Wonderful?” Christ is not a limited being who could be defined with just simple name like Gabriel or Michael or any angelic name.
The person who appeared to Manoah accepted the offering which was put on the alter. Such offering was often given to God in the Old Testament. But Manoah knew that the One who appeared to him was God and Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God!”
We see that the One called “Wonderful,” who appeared to pious persons and to the prophets in the Old Testament, was the same “Wonderful” that Isaiah prophesied would come in the flesh
Next, Isaiah defines Him as “Counselor” because He is the source of eternal wisdom. He is the wisdom of the Godhead. The Father delights in His wonderful wisdom and His ability to bring about every thing the Father plans. We read in Proverbs 8:30, “Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman and I was daily His delight.”
Christ, as part of the Trinity, speaks with intelligent creatures, both angels and men. He’s called “the Word” in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word.”
In Isaiah 48:16, the pre-incarnate Christ declared that He is the One who spoke from the beginning. He spoke to the prophets when He said “Come near to Me. Hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning. From the time that it was, I was there. And now the Lord God and His Spirit have sent Me.” His word was not in secret for the benefit of one person, but it was intended to be written for everyone. The pre-Incarnate Christ announced the mission for which He was commissioned by the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah continues his definition by calling Him, “the Mighty God.” The words Mighty and Almighty in the Old Testament are synonymous with Jehovah-God as in Genesis 17:1 where the Lord said to Abraham, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.”
Also in Isaiah 10:21 we read, “The remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God.” Here we see the term "mighty God" as applied to Jehovah. It means the child who is born is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Never was such a title attributed to a person other than to God.
In the New Testament we also see that the title "Mighty" is attributed to God. In Luke 1:49, the Song of Mary includes these words. “For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name.”
Referring to Himself, in Revelation 1: 8 Jesus said, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’” In this verse, He confirms that He is the Almighty God who spoke to the prophets in the Old Testament. Likewise, the angel announcing Christ’s birth in Luke 2:11, said, “Today, in the city of
When Isaiah refers to the birth of the Savior, he calls Him the “Everlasting Father,” a term the Old Testament uses for the Lord, Jehovah.
Isaiah announced that the child whose birth he prophesied, can be identified by His everlasting fatherly heart. When God who spoke to the prophets about himself he said in Jeremiah 31:9, “I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to
He is the person of the Trinity who leads men and women as an earthly father leads his children. Yet, the One who has a fatherly heart was incarnated, or brought to earth, so he could shepherd his children closely. He became one of us with a human nature. Just as He provided nurture and guidance to the disciples during his time, He pastors his flock throughout eternity.
Finally, Isaiah calls Him, the “Prince of Peace. Peace on earth without the Prince of Peace is a provisory phenomenon without a solid foundation. True peace will come with the reign of the Prince of Peace.
The time when Jesus reigns on earth is called the Millennial Messianic Kingdom. In Psalm 72 we read about this kingdom, “the mountains will bring prosperity to the people, and the little hills [will bring] the fruit of righteousness…. In His days righteous shall flourish, and peace will abound until the moon is no more.... He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him.”
God promises that peace will continue on earth during his Millennial reign until the stars, the moon and the earth will be destroyed, and a new heaven and earth will be created.
But today, Jesus establishes His peace in the hearts of those who accept him as Savior. Therefore, the angels sang on His birth as we read in Luke 2:14, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men!”
Christ the Creator as seen in the first verses of the Gospel of John
The New Testament agrees with the Old Testament in attributing the creation of the universe to Christ. Many verses in the New Testament confirm that Christ is the Creator, but I want to focus on the first verses of John's Gospel:
“ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.”
As the book of Proverbs declares that Christ is the wisdom of God, the Gospel of John declares that Christ is the Word of God. Further, as the book of Proverbs presents that Christ is the co–planner of the universe, the Gospel of John, presents that Christ eternally pre-existed with God. Not only this, but Christ is presented as God himself, since each Person of the Triune God enjoys: the same essence, the same identity, and the same glory as all of the Godhead equally shares!
In the Gospel of John, chapter 1, verse 3, we read:
“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
So we see that the Gospel
attributes the creation of everything to Christ; He truly is – as the book of
proverbs declared – the “Wisdom of the Triune God,” as a master craftsman of the creation, planned by the Father and Himself.
Christ is seen the Creator though His miracles
If we had such scant
evidence on the life of Christ from
Jesus is known as Creator through the way he repeated those early touches recorded in Genesis, approaching a small sample in order to create something important
From the feet of Jesus, we can look across history at the many works of creation. Scripture shows us how things were created, and how the most glorious and most significant examples, like man, appeared.
God created many significant things from small items devoid of life and importance. One example of this is the way God approached a handful of dust and demonstrated His ability to produce something great and original from what is trivial and meaningless. From dust, He created the body of a man.
Not only did He do this in the original creation in the Garden of Eden, but Jesus repeated the steps of that work when He walked into a routine situation. A dead body had turned into a handful of dust – as was the body of Lazarus – but He resurrected it into a living body once again.
Just as God made a woman from the rib of a man by using a small specimen in order to create something of great value, Jesus demonstrated His power to create great things from small things which, based on appearances, one should not rely on in a crisis.
From the trivial, despised, simple and neglected things in our lives, Jesus provides a window through which He gives us a glimpse of great innovations. He reminds us of His power to make something original from anything that is common. Remember how He broke five loaves and two fish to make enough food for 5,000 people in the wilderness? There was so much food that what was left over was carried off to feed nearby villages.
Jesus behaved as the same manner the Creator did in the book of Genesis creating man and woman from insignificant raw materials. He also behaved as Creator in his conscious ability to innovate in any situation he found himself in, to bring into being from whatever materials were to hand, like a stinking body which was changing into a handful of dust, something that was more important and more valuable than anything else on earth, the body of a living man. He also made do with food carried by a little boy into the wilderness in order to meet the need of thousands in the wilderness.
This shows that he is the independent Creator God, whose innovativeness does not need any great preparations. From the smallest of local raw materials he is able to raise up the most valuable and most important of his works. He is able to establish his will and create its living elements by touching the smallest of them, which he had put there in the past, and had previously planned to use as the raw materials for his innovation.
Jesus performed miracles which happened according to historical and scientific standards.
The miracles of Jesus, like raising Lazarus from the dead, did not happen in a place hidden from the eyes of observers, as is the case with claims of those who attribute to themselves works that nobody has seen.
The miracles of Jesus didn’t happen in an unsophisticated society, unable to make its voice heard. Often in simple societies a lie claimed as a miracle is believed even though it didn’t really happen. Rather, Jesus’ miracles happened in an environment and in a society where any event and every idea was discussed.
No witness came forward from Jesus’ own generation to deny His miracles or make light of the greatness of those creative acts. Testimony to His miracles also comes from non-Christian sources. Historians from Jesus’ generation like Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian, were contemporaries of Jesus and wrote about the high character and works, confirming Jesus’ miracles.
Nor did the miracles of Jesus happen in the midst of a generation that had become subject to him as the cities of some of those reformers were subjected to them by force in their generation. Many religions were professed by the cities and countries of the founders of these religions in their own generation, which meant that history was written in a manner that agreed with their lying claims, attributing to them things that probably did not really happen.
The histories were sponsored by the religious authority which continued to rule the city or the country where the propagandists spread their thoughts and claims. This type of religious authority conceals what is harmful to the reputation of the religion and its founder and introduces new lying accounts in favor of the religion’s founder.
contrast, the miracles of Jesus happened at a time when the contemporary
generation was not subject to Him.
Rather, Judaism continued to rule in
One must acknowledge that the miracles of Jesus happened in the midst of a sophisticated society of great sensitivity, ready to criticize and analyze all that went on within it. These people didn’t doubt the moral perfection of Jesus’ character or the fact of His miracles.
We see Luke, a historian and doctor who followed Jesus' miracles and was a witness to the events that the apostles and Jesus’ contemporaries recorded. When Luke wrote to his Roman friend, he said in the first four verses of the first chapter of his gospel, “ Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eye-witnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”
Luke contacted the individuals involved in the miracles and confirmed the truth of the miracles according to historical and scientific standards.
Yes, the miracles of Jesus happened in a civilized and observant society, fully able to refute them if they hadn’t happened, and the most important historians of the generation testified to them.
Even Herod, to whom Pilate sent Jesus for trial, had wanted for a long time to see Jesus, since Herod had heard about His many miracles. Jesus’ miracles were the talk of the society, both great and powerful. There was much astonishment among the various classes of society, including rulers, historians, and ordinary individuals.
The information presented in the Bible about the miracles of Jesus is trustworthy. I invite you to read the Gospels daily in order to know more about the Lord Jesus Christ and His miracles. When you read about Christ in the Bible with an open heart, you’ll experience something greater than knowledge alone. When you give yourself to Him, you’ll experience a spiritual change, and you’ll know the Lord personally in your soul, because the Holy Spirit will reveal Christ to your spirit.
Christ is seen the Creator when He raised the body of Lazarus from the semi-dust situation
There is not enough time to stop and tell of each of the miracles of Jesus in detail, which all clearly show His identity as Creator, therefore, I will only discuss one of His miracles in detail: the raising of Lazarus from the dead four days after his burial.
John writes in the eleventh chapter of his gospel that Jesus told His disciples, “ Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him out of sleep.”
Jesus is the One on whom life depends. In Him is found the blossom of life, the breeze that rouses a person to life.
What must it have been like for Lazarus, after he had been dead for four days, to wake from death? In Jesus Christ, creation was repeated. By Jesus’ power, life was restored. Jesus used the word “ wake” when He talked about the resurrection of the dead even though the body had been buried and had become putrefied.
This is a truly divine operation reflecting the ability of the Creator to bring into being a living being from the earth as he did when he created man for the first time. By using the word “ wake,” Jesus showed how easy it is for Him to perform divine works, characteristic of what only the Creator can do. For Jesus, raising a dead person was as easy as waking someone who was asleep.
Here we see the distinctive language of Jesus. It contains expressions that created beings cannot use. It is a language that reflects his absolute and unlimited powers, just as my language as a human being reflects the things that I do regularly in my life. Just as my language expresses a specific human life with specific functions, so the language of Jesus contains expressions that it is impossible for a human being to use, since they reflect powers and functions that are essentially divine. The expressions Jesus uses reveal his absolute powers, and are simply everyday expressions in Jesus’ life that reveal the divine essence that was united with the perfect humanity and revealed to his contemporaries.
As a human being I say, “ Today I am going to have supper,” or “Now I will go for a walk”. I speak with no uncertainty or effort in my words. Having supper or going for a walk does not require a great effort on my part. I am easily up to the routine tasks I do each day. For Jesus, His divine acts-even His greatest acts-are made into a routine thing. He simply said, “I am going to wake him”. It is just like me waking my brother from sleep without any effort when he is sleeping in a bed beside me, because I am aware that waking up someone from sleep is a simple operation with guaranteed success.
When Jesus spoke about Lazarus being asleep, Jesus expressed His will to do the highest work, work which could be identified only with the Creator Himself. The highest function of God is something routine for Christ. Although bringing Lazarus back to life was work only to be done by God the Creator, Jesus expressed it as something which was part of His daily routine.
The raising of Lazarus resembles the creation of the first man, and is indicative of the real identity of the Creator, Jesus Christ, and shows that the creation of Adam was one of Jesus’ everyday activities. What Jesus did in raising Lazarus is some of the best evidence we have that Jesus is the Creator who operated in the book of Genesis. He is the Eternal Son of God who created man from dust and breathed into him the breath of life.
Have you noticed how slow the disciples were to grasp the language of Jesus? He was the Creator walking on earth, but He spoke about His creative works as though they were as routine as ours when we speak about wanting to do something simple.
The disciples not only had to realize the power of Jesus as Creator, but to make the link between His great, divine work and His other everyday activities. Even the creation of Adam was an operation Jesus could repeat without any difficulty. Indeed, it was easy for him to repeat it at any time, and as easy in terms of his divine abilities as a man waking up a friend whenever he wants.
The disciples didn’t understand Jesus’ purpose by the way He talked, so they asked him, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better?” Like us, the disciples interpreted the words of Jesus in terms of human experience, without realizing that the music of infinity resonated within Jesus” words.
However, the disciples, after accompanying Jesus to the tomb of buried and stinking Lazarus, and after Jesus let out his divine cry for Lazarus to come out, the language and music of infinity became more comprehensible to them than before.
I wonder if the disciples remembered that, on another occasion, Jesus explained to them that He wakes up all those who die believing in Him. The disciples heard Him utter the words recorded for us by John in the sixth chapter of his gospel, “Everyone who looks to the Son and believes on Him, shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
With Lazarus, Jesus demonstrated His personal power to wake those who believe in Him on the day of resurrection. He was exercising His prerogative to give life to His creatures. Thus, He showed that the grace of life that every creature enjoys comes from Him, since He is able to spiritually raise us to life after death in an even more glorious way.
The purpose of Jesus in our lives exceeds our expectations as much as the resurrection of Lazarus exceeds the waking of a sleeping man.
(Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.)
Let us see how different what Jesus wanted to do was from what the disciples understood at that time.
In our walk with Jesus, we grow gradually in our understanding of His purposes in our lives and we come to appreciate increasingly the greatness of his power at work in our lives, and his ability to touch dead and impossible aspects of any being in existence.
Our expectations concerning the work of Jesus are based on human standards. We expect Jesus to raise someone who is sleeping and to perform ordinary acts like healing a sick person. But Jesus wants to raise us to spiritual life, giving us His Spirit. And He wants to touch our friends who have lost hope of ever receiving spiritual life for themselves.
The difference between our understanding of what can be done and Jesus’ intentions is as great as the difference between raising a sleeping person and a dead person.
Jesus still intends to bring another awakening in our generation: to our cities, our villages, our houses and to our lives. He intends to bring a life-giving spiritual change that nobody can bring except God himself.
Jesus’ purposes are on the same level as His responsibility as the Creator. His work in Lazarus was a new creative stage for this man to whom Jesus granted the grace of natural life.
When Jesus comes to us, He gives us a gift that is similar to the first creation, but more powerful. He purifies us from our sins. He gives us new spiritual life.
In reality, even though the miracles of Jesus are explained in words and expressions from our dictionary, they are beyond human expectations and understanding in the same way that the resurrection of a decomposing body is superior to waking man from sleep.
I invite you to trust that Jesus is capable and willing to do a similar miracle in your life. He gave you your natural life as your Creator . Now He is willing to do a greater miracle by giving you a spiritual nature, enabling you to live as a spiritual being who loves Him and has fellowship with Him.
He does this through the Spirit of God, who is His Spirit, also. When you accept Jesus’ work on the cross and open your heart to Him, He sends His Spirit to perform this miracle of spiritual regeneration in you.
If you are already a Christian, trust Jesus to perform His life-giving miracle in the hearts of your friends and family members though it may seem impossible for them to change. May God bless you.
Jesus relates to both the earthly world and the spiritual world, where those who have died in the hope of resurrection now live.
Our studies in the eleventh chapter of John’s gospel have brought us to a question many people ask: “ What happens to a person when death overtakes him or her? “
Jesus told His disciples, “ Our friend, Lazarus, sleeps, but I must go that I may wake him out of sleep.” At first, the disciples thought Jesus was talking about Lazarus resting and sleeping as we do each day.
But Jesus had more than simple sleep in mind. The Bible tells us, “So then, he told them plainly, Lazarus is dead “. In this simple sentence Jesus makes a significant comment. Lazarus was no longer in contact with our earth.
When Jesus described the dead as sleeping, He was talking as one who sees those who die in faith now alive and resurrected. They are not lost forever. Only Lazarus’ body remained. His spirit had departed from earth. For this reason, Jesus used an expression that indicates life continues for those who have gone to another world.
Jesus’ statement emphasizes that He saw Lazarus alive and fully conscious, even though Lazarus no longer existed in our earthly perspective. To sleep is an expression used by someone who has contact with both our world and the eternal world. Jesus knew that those who have died in faith rest from their labors, asleep in the Lord and awaiting the second resurrection in which they will be given glorified bodies like the resurrection body of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
But Jesus had more in mind than to reveal that heaven awaits for those who die in the Lord. Jesus provided the disciples with an invitation to witness a practical example of the work of the dynamic hero of creation. He told His disciples, “ For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”
As we have seen, Jesus was absent from the Jerusalem area, near which was the village of Bethany where Lazarus lived, during the illness of Lazarus. He considered this as an opportunity to show his disciples a miracle that would stimulate them to realize his true incarnate identity.
Seeing Lazarus brought back to life was an opportunity for the disciples to observe a step in the creative process which was as great as what Jesus accomplished during the days when He created the universe. Once they saw Him raise Lazarus, Jesus knew the disciples would discover His identity and recognize Him as the One who did these works. In front of them was a miracle which paralleled the first works attributed to the Creator in the book of Genesis.
As we read about this event, we realize that Jesus was not satisfied for His disciples to simply believe that He was the Son of God, the Messiah. Peter had already testified to that in Caesarea Philippi when Jesus had asked the disciples who men were saying that He was and who they thought He was. Peter had replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Matthew tells us in the 16th chapter of his gospel that Peter’s reply was correct, for Jesus answered, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.”
In other words, the Father had revealed to Peter this important knowledge that Jesus was the Christ the Son of the living God, whose incarnation the prophets in the Old Testament had prophesied about.
But in the Bible, faith in Christ the Creator is a dual revelation. The first is the Biblical revelation that he is the Creator.
In the book of Proverbs, chapter 8 and verses 27 through 31, we read about Jesus: “I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was the craftsman at the Father’s side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence.”
Even before His tenure on earth, Jesus was bringing into being what had already been planned should be created. The writer, in the tenth through thirteenth verses of the first chapter of his letter to the Hebrews, says about the Son, “In the beginning, Oh Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.” Here he quotes Psalm 102:26, which prophesies about Jesus Christ. It’s clear from the Bible that Jesus is the Creator.
However, the revelation which really reveals that the human being Jesus is the person whom the Bible reveals as the Creator, is that practical revelation where this person is seen accomplishing sample works commensurate with those mentioned in the book of Genesis during the creation of man and of the universe.
Jesus had prepared the disciples to experience what the angels witnessed at the time of the first creation. The Creator passed before a body of clay and gave it life. He breathed the breath of life into it so that it might become man.
In this way, the disciples were treated to a special experience. Their spirits were lifted by witnessing a miracle that recalled the way Adam had been created. Their spirits were lifted by a practical revelation. The One who walked with them showed them that He is God, the Creator and hero of creation.
In a measure, you can experience what the disciples experienced when you realize Jesus Christ is the Creator. He’s your Creator who became flesh and dwelt among us so that we might know Him, love Him and adore Him. I invite you to worship Him as your Creator and present your requests to Him. Because He is the Creator, He can work in your situation according to His Divine creative abilities and capabilities.
Jesus passed up the first opportunity to heal Lazarus in order to show His ability to raise the dead (and to show his ability to begin from dust). He did this so we might worship Him as God.
the sisters of Lazarus asked Jesus to come to
You or I might have dropped everything to be with Lazarus and heal his body, but Jesus remained where He was until Lazarus had been dead for four days. Jesus chose to bypass the opportunity to heal Lazarus before he died.
Jesus rejected this opportunity for healing, even though it would have solved a family crisis, in order to allow the situation to deteriorate to the point where another type of faith could emerge-where Jesus would be observed creating life again from dust.
His decision shows that He is prepared to begin His transformation from any state we have reached. He’s not limited to working with simple problems, or intervening at only specific stages of the illnesses and crises that afflict us. Nor is His ability restricted to a specific time period.
Jesus exercises unlimited and absolute power which He has enjoyed since the beginning of time.
In his patience and his wisdom, he waited until the patient had reached the most extreme situation, when all creatures had abandoned hope of his recovery, the state of putrefaction as occurred with Lazarus’ body in his tomb. In this situation, no prophet or angel would dare to lift the stone from that stinking body; The situation in which everybody would agree that anybody who approached this handful of dust and shouted out an order for the spirit that animated the body to stand before him, must be the Creator.
Thus we, in our spiritual lives, must not despair when circumstances seem to mock any possibility of obtaining those great answers for the unsettled issues that we have buried in our lives. Sometimes Jesus leaves us in a situation where we cannot see a solution, so that we can witness his intervention in our lives at a stage when the only solution is for the hand of the Creator to be displayed in order to bandage, to heal and to bring life. Then the Lord Jesus intervenes in our lives to show that he is God.
Our circumstances may not be as severe as those of Lazarus, but when the Lord Jesus intervenes in our lives, He still shows that He is God. We notice it most when He allows us to reach a state where we gradually see we are losing our loved ones, perhaps through illness or the harsh circumstances. When we come to believe the time has passed when Jesus could possibly reverse our plight, then we see the work of the Creator proceeding in our lives.
However, to continue walking with Jesus is a privilege as we see progressively greater and more significant things.
Faith comes from watching Jesus work. As we walk with Jesus, we have the privilege to see our faith growing progressively greater and more significant.
Jesus told His disciples, “ I’m glad for your sakes that I was not there with Lazarus, so that you may believe.”
The living faith that we exercise in Jesus is often in proportion to the power that comes to lift us out of our lowest estate. Often faith in the abilities of Jesus and His identification with God, the Father, are never created in our lives without seeing Him work the way only God can.
Thus the direst state that the beloved can reach, even if it is a painful state, is God’s most powerful opportunity to show the power of the One who alone is able to revive our loved ones. If the body of the beloved had not putrefied and almost turned to dust, we would not have recognized the identity of the Creator, who ordered the great stone to be rolled away.
Jesus was preparing the disciples to believe that he was the Creator by leaving his dearest friend until he almost turned to dust. All that was so that they might believe.
Many things are allowed to stay dormant in our lives until the One passes by who can revive them, , namely Jesus. Every person has aspirations for spiritual vitality, but those aspirations often remain unfulfilled until Jesus passes by in response to our prayer. Like Lazarus’ body, our souls are in a state of decay due to the spiritual death and separation from God which we experience. Like Lazarus’ state before his resurrection, the elements of spiritual death and corruption are at work within us because of our sin and our lack of fellowship with God.
We suffer from corruption because we were born into spiritual death; because we were born with the fallen nature of Adam. There can be no hope for us any more than there was hope for Lazarus, unless the one Person passes by, who is able to raise us to life again as He did for Lazarus.
Faith is to come to know the true God through seeing him approach the impossible aspects of my life and the lives of my loved ones. Then I can see Jesus Christ, the one person ever seen in history doing the works that can only be expected from the one true God like raising a stinking body from dust to new life. That transforms faith from being simply a mass of doctrines into a personal revelation of the nature of the Creator, through watching him doing the work of the Godhead.
Most of us believe that God exists. However, proper faith according to the Word of God is for the soul to see its Creator at work, in the readiness of Jesus Christ to move towards a soul that is suffering from corruption. This is the soul’s opportunity to see the power of its true Creator making it holy and saving it from the bondage of sin. It is this that stirs faith in Jesus our God and Savior. Jesus becomes the constant companion of the soul. Life becomes an opportunity to see the practical interventions of Jesus Christ in the life of the person who has been saved. Although invisible to our physical eyes, he becomes visible to the eyes of our hearts after we have accepted him as our personal Savior, and his hand becomes tangible every day and every minute of our lives. He strengthens, comforts and guides the soul with his Word and his Spirit, the Holy Spirit who represents the perfect presence of Jesus, since he is the Spirit of Christ.
Life becomes an arena in which we see Jesus, our Savior, coming in response to our prayers to touch what no one apart from God can touch. Our lives become replete with experiences of His divine work, solving our problems, unraveling our complexes, healing our illnesses, and raising our friends and our loved ones from their spiritual death to life everlasting.
In this way, the soul grows in the knowledge of God. We learn to trust in His qualities, His power, His righteousness, His love and His loyalty to our souls as guardian, friend, deliverer and the mighty God.
Do you understand God’s plan for you? It’s not enough for us to believe in Him as a God who exists above the clouds. Many people who do not know God believe in that. Rather, He desires that we meet with Him and get to know Him practically-deep, down in our souls. Then we can see Him at work in the most difficult aspects of our lives. We see Him just as the family of Lazarus and the disciples saw Him when He raised Lazarus from the dust.
All this is done so we might see God before us, in Christ, and we might grow in love, adoration and attachment to Him, just as He is attached to us in the warp and woof of the details of our lives.
Faith is to experience the hand of Jesus in his character and his power, to see and experience his hand in practice as the Bible reveals his divine functions. The divine progress of Jesus includes my household and my life. Jesus takes the ship of my household as a strategic center for his creative works, so that I may grow in faith by witnessing his power in practice and by seeing him work in my life, my household and my society. I can allow Jesus to take my life and my household as an arena in which to reveal his person and his character. God can become a practical reality in my life, and not just a religious thought or doctrine.
You, also, can allow Jesus to take control of your life and make your household into an arena in which He reveals His person and His character. If God is not a practical reality in your life, He can become more than just a religious thought or doctrine. He can become your strength to get you through each day and make your life worth living.
Jesus works in the details of life and shows Himself to be God.
The Christian life has been designed by our heavenly Father so that as we mature we reach the point where Jesus enters our lives to solve those things that are impossible for us to solve without God’s help. It’s the point where we see Jesus moving where only God can move and doing only what God can do. Work that would remain undone in life and in history is accomplished when Jesus passes by.
For many broadcasts now, we have been discussing the raising of Lazarus, a man who had been dead and decomposing for four days. No human being could have hoped to see his body raised from dust without the intervention of Jesus.
Lazarus’ body reminds us of the state of any sinner who collapses under the pressures of sin and corruption. No human being has ever been healed from sin without Jesus. The dead heart has been separated from God. There is no hope unless the One who originally created it intervenes.
The creature has plunged to the depth of corruption. To raise him up is a step which is impossible to accomplish apart from the One who came to earth when He formed mankind and breathed His Spirit into him.
To repair the corrupt heart from the effects of spiritual and moral death is a responsibility and a prerogative of the Creator who passed by that body of crumbling clay in the first years of the Christian era and raised it from the dead, summoning to it the spirit which had departed from it and gone to Paradise.
In the account of Lazarus, we have an invitation to witness a sight similar to the first creation of man. If we think about it, we can recognize the person of the Creator as He creates once more from dust.
The first years of the Christian era were characterized by a return of the voice of the Creator. The melody of His unlimited power was heard once again ringing throughout the earth. To distinguish the voice of man among the birds of the forest is an easy thing for the ear to do. Similarly, to distinguish the voice of God, the Creator, as He moved about in human form in the person of Christ was possible for those with the right sense and an unprejudiced mind. There is no way to identify this sovereign and creative voice except by observing the One who creates a spiritual being from the dust of humanity.
Does human experience allow us to hear what has not been heard in the history of peoples, humanity and the prophets? That is, the creation of life where there was but dust.
Whether in the original creation or the re-creation, as in the case of Lazarus, nothing was done without purpose. Christ possessed creative words with practical meanings which were aimed at the most difficult of all human conditions, the body’s subjection to the principles of death and corruption. Jesus moved toward the dead and decomposing body of Lazarus with the express purpose of resurrecting it, just as He moved in the original creation of Adam.
When any creature dies a handful of extra earth is produced. But how can there be a program for that little handful of dust into which the stinking body lying beneath a large stone has begun to turn. Can anybody else but the Creator move towards something that has begun to turn into a small handful of dust and talk about a plan of life for that abandoned and forgotten aspect of the creature.
We see the body that has returned to dust as lost, absent and pertaining to the past. But Jesus sees it as an object through which He can successfully manifest His power and reveal His identity as the One who created mankind in the beginning. He moves towards what we as human beings consider to be no more than a handful of dust, but for Him it is a rerun of the ancient scene of creation when a handful of dust waited for His hands to touch and His breath to vitalize. He walks with us so that we might stop at this scene so reminiscent of the old, and watch its ancient elements come together before our eyes.
As Jesus walked toward Lazarus He had the absolute conviction He could raise Lazarus to life in the same way as He took those elements of dust on the sixth day of creation and created mankind. In this act we discern who the Creator is.
He sought an opportunity to be in a situation similar to the one he had worked in before, in order to help us to recognize him through the perfect way he worked . he made to stand on a dimension or entity which was turning into a handful of dust , he made stand a human spiritual being which reminds us of Adam and his healthy spiritual fellowship with Him before sin )* and brought into being a spiritual human being. As Lazarus sat at table with Jesus just as Adam had walked with him in Eden before falling into sin, he displayed the health of Adam, the beat of his heart, and his ancient fellowship with his Creator.
Can you picture Lazarus sitting at the table with Jesus a few hours later-sitting with the same Jesus who walked with Adam in Eden before Adam fell into sin.
As He did with the disciples, Jesus extends an invitation to us to attend a scene full of profound meaning. Jesus told His disciples that His intent was “so they might believe.” In other words, as we understand the raising of Lazarus, Jesus puts us back into the nursery of Eden. We experience a miracle that is more than a miracle. It’s a sign pointing to the creation of the first man, Adam. Jesus did this so we might ponder and appreciate the One who walked our earth both in creation and in the early years of the Christian era.
Just as a mother shows her lost son pictures from his childhood so he might know who his mother is. Jesus is concerned that we see samples indicating how man first sprang from dust. Jesus uses what is turning into a handful of dust to help us experience the process of creation as recorded in the Old Testament. He does all this to give us a complete picture of His identity and imprint it on our souls.
Have you come to the place where you desire to believe in Jesus. You can do that today, right now, by praying and asking Him into your life.
Jesus invites us to reclaim what has been lost and not restored.
The advantage of walking with Jesus and having spiritual fellowship with him is that he lets us hear the language of that wonderful distant thing that nature dictates is impossible to see any more, a thing is irretrievably lost. Jesus orders us to walk towards that thing, which no being has ever previously approached, where man is accustomed to proclaim his eternal loss of some precious thing or person. Is there a language apart from that of the Creator that can bring back that which has been lost forever from our lives and our earth? Who can promise to move once again towards the remains of that which has been lost forever and assure us that he will restore it, except the omnipotent Creator?
As Jesus did when He came to Lazarus, He invites us to approach that which is dead in our lives. We can't do this in our own strength, but Jesus is free to summon life. This is possible for Him because He is the God who established all natural and moral laws.
Look with me at the language of the prophets. They prayed for healing for the living and they comforted the friends of the dead. Their prayers respected the limits that God had set to human life and, except in a limited number of cases, they could not recall that which had passed forever into eternity.
But Jesus was not a creature to be bound by limits that he had set for others. All of life’s limits have been fashioned by Jesus’ noble and generous hand, There are no principles or laws from which He cannot summon someone who has become subject to them.
What Jesus did in recalling the spirit of life to Lazarus’ body was similar to the power He displayed when He created Adam from the dust of the ground.
When Jesus approaches that which we recognize as impossible for creatures to approach, He reveals His right to move in the infinite. He shows that He owns what does not exist and controls what is established for creatures and for nature. For Jesus is the One before whom all laws bow. He is the One who has established the laws, so He does not have to surrender to them as if He were a creature subject to them.
Thus, Jesus invites us into the arena where we can experience Him as the God of natural law. He has it in his power to recover that which has become subject to these laws and which would otherwise be considered beyond recovery.
When Jesus went where only the Creator could prevail and when He chose the sphere in which it is universally acknowledged that only the Godhead could work, it was His way of teaching us that He is God. There’s no experience more indicative of the identity of our Creator than seeing a new body created out of a decomposing body that is changing into a handful of dust.
Jesus’ path is the path of the first creative work and a blueprint for life in the field of humanity.
Jesus never hesitated in any initiative that he took. When he pronounced those words ‘Let us go to him,’ that is go and wake up someone whose body was in a state of total stinking putrefaction subject to the elements of corruption, dissolution and decay, and was turning into dust, we see him moving with his constant and customary certainty, which the generation that lived in the first years AD were accustomed to see as he approached the sick or the dying in order to heal them.
It’s that power which contains the mysteries of existence and the program for life. Jesus approached the precious fruit of His creation and brought it back to life.
He moved toward His creation with complete certainty and freedom, repairing and restoring any fault in Lazarus’ body. He moved as the Lord, Restorer, Healer, and Reviver of creation, not as someone surrendered to its illnesses and disasters.
Jesus moved in his creation with complete certainty and freedom, repairing and restoring any fault in it. He moved as the Lord, Restorer, Healer, and Reviver of creation, not as someone confused and surrendered to its illnesses and disasters, but as the Reviver and Repairer of any fault that might affect it. He bears the demeanor of an Expert moving about in a field which he has sown for the first time, the demeanor of a Craftsman moving towards one of his past creations. It is not the manner of someone moving in a sphere some aspect of which is hidden to him, or about some of whose principles he lacks wisdom or knowledge, since he in his wisdom had placed all things in their places on the stage of life, including man.
We have a great God who moves in creative freedom and in the certainty of His ability to repair and revive anything. With Lazarus, Jesus returned to where He had begun when He created man for the very first time from a handful of dust.
Going to Lazarus meant calling forth life, resurrecting a living body from the extreme stage of decay. Because Jesus is God, He is the author and the organizer of life. He’s not a prisoner of any state. In Jesus the perfection and beauty of life can be seen in each and every stage, and He is able to bring back the lost from the place of deepest despair.
Jesus was able to bring back Lazarus from the dust. Lazarus’ spirit returned from Paradise, that most distant location. This is Jesus’ guarantee that by His creative power, those who love Him will be resurrected with eternal glorious bodies.
It’s important that you continue to have fellowship with Jesus. He alone is worthy of your adoration and love. As you remain in constant fellowship with Him, you may hear His promise to regain the spiritually lost loved ones of your family.
Perhaps you stopped hoping that you would ever see your loved ones in good spiritual health, because the laws of corruption and sin have changed them into a state from which you think they would never return. You gave up envisioning them walking with Jesus or praying to Him as the Creator of all things.
There is hope, dear believer. You may yet see the surprise of God’s creative work in response to your prayers of faith to Him as Creator. Climb high in your faith and trust Jesus to do the impossible for you.
We find great value in worshiping Jesus and having fellowship with Him.
When we have fellowship with Jesus, we hear His plan to accomplish what we thought could never occur.
Walking with Jesus brought privileges that were not available to any group in the company of any other being in existence. As we walk with Him today, we hear His plan for our lives-a plan that no one has ever thought of approaching before.
And as we walk with him today, we hear the program and plan of life regarding an aspect of our lives that nobody has ever thought of approaching before, since it is one of difficult nature and circumstances which there is no point in approaching, where nobody has the ability to create changes , and where nobody has even thought that something could happen.
This may be true in our realm, but Jesus has a plan which He demonstrated when He raised the decomposing body of Lazarus. He woke Lazarus and brought him back to life. This means that Jesus is the personality that has the thought and the plan regarding those aspects that despair and failure have removed from the arena of life.
Jesus is the only one who possesses a voice capable of addressing any dimension which is impossible for us to obtain. Think of it. We have the privilege of having fellowship with Him, of walking closely with Him, letting Him take charge of our lives. This makes Him the constant subject of our prayers and our worship. It enables us to hear His program for that which may be forgotten and buried in our lives.
It would have been impossible for Jesus’ disciples to approach a situation like the death of Lazarus. Even if the disciples had lived at any other period of history or walked with any other earthly or angelic personality, they could not have called Lazarus to come forth. It's something only Jesus could do.
Similarly, if we walk outside that powerful fellowship with Jesus, there is nothing which can make us hear His creative promise. When we walk with Jesus, we have a spiritual life which awakens to the supernatural. We see things that nobody imagined could happen in our generation.
We can experience a rich spiritual life when we enter into deep and daily prayer and fellowship with Jesus. This is what Jesus directs people toward when they keep close to Him in prayer and fellowship. Even the dead things in our lives have a purpose, and the creative voice of Jesus brings that purpose within our hearing.
There is nothing which logic, power or human ability can suggest that will restore life-nothing apart from the order and the will of Jesus. Neither human habit nor aptitude can bring it about.
A person who is in contact with Jesus in a love relationship of constant prayer, moves in contact with and in response to the purposes of Jesus in the dead and the remote and the one whom people have stopped thinking about .He hears Jesus’ program to bring restoration from the most extreme state and the most difficult situation..
What a unique privilege the disciples had to hear that voice calling them to journey to the resurrection of a person who had been buried for four days. How privileged they were to be witnesses to something which had never before happened.
When Jesus told His disciples, “ Let us go to him,” meaning Lazarus, He gave them the opportunity and the sublime privilege to see the fulfillment of the promise to resurrect that which was old, dead, and lost. To walk with Jesus is the privilege to walk with the one of the greatest sublimity, where we hear the timely promise to resurrect that which is old, dead, and lost. Where we hear the practical creative promise directed towards dead and buried aspects of our lives and the lives of our neighbors.
It’s difficult to imagine, but we can have the privilege of enjoying the highest fellowship with the living, creative, Jesus Christ. He beckons us to move according to His program, power, and will, and not according to the routine of our own capabilities. Like the disciples, we too can hear practical, creative promises directed toward the dead and buried aspects of our lives and the lives of our neighbors.
Picture the disciples on their way with Jesus to the grave of Lazarus. You would think they would be excited about what Jesus was going to do. But that wasn’t so for one of the disciples. Thomas failed to believe Jesus would raise Lazarus, simply because Thomas had never seen anything like this happen before.
Thomas treated Jesus’ words and His desire to raise a worthless buried body as something to be tested in the crucible of human experience. Nothing like this had ever happened to Thomas before to justify his believing that it might happen now, even if Jesus Himself was leading the way.
Thomas had no idea they were moving toward something that had never happened in his experience. He was soon to see the creation of life in a putrefied body, which truly was something worthy to believe in.
We see how this worked in Thomas’ life and we ask ourselves, “how can we be part of a journey based on a creative promise that something is going to happen that has never happened before in our experience?”
It is as though Thomas had enough faith to believe what the prophets experienced. But he backed away from believing he could experience what he didn’t expect to happen. He displayed a clear lack of faith that Jesus’ words could be fulfilled. Thomas moved without purpose on a journey that bore a clear promise that something would happen which had never happened before.
Thomas was known as “Doubting Thomas.” You may remember that later he said he would not believe Jesus was resurrected until he saw the prints of the nails in Jesus’ hands. A doubter gives little credence to the words of Jesus, even though Jesus has accomplished all that He has said He would.
When Thomas embarked on a journey to Bethany with the rest of the disciples, the journey was intended to be an opportunity to reveal the identity of God the Creator. For Thomas, however, the journey turned into an exhausting and incomprehensible trip. Jesus wanted the journey to Bethany help change Thomas into a person who expected the unusual, rare, and impossible, but for Thomas it became just an ordinary journey. This is the problem faced by the person who does not have enough faith to believe in the promises of Jesus.
Jesus had included Thomas in the circle of disciples who heard the promise of the impossible and unprecedented resurrection. Thomas should have rejoiced in the revelation that was supposed to change him into a man enthusiastic to walk with the Creator. But he made the journey with doubt and suspicion. What could have been an incredible spiritual experience became mundane.
Are you a little like Thomas? Have you seen and heard Jesus’ promises to do the impossible, and yet you have difficulty trusting Him? Jesus is waiting to do great things for you. Through prayer, fellowship with other believers, and reading the Bible, you can learn to trust Him and follow the footsteps of the Creator toward the impossible.
We need to learn to move on God’s promise and not on past philosophy or the failures we have experienced.
Here is the importance of us being in a group that loves Jesus and moves with him in prayer and perseveres in a high quality relationship of spiritual fellowship, so that we might be among that small group who spend much time with Jesus in prayer, and if they hear a rare promise from Jesus, have disciplined themselves to move with him in spiritual life, believing the promise and waiting for it to come to realization, thus vindicating the word of Jesus.
In these studies, we have been following the events recorded in John 11, when Jesus brought Lazarus back to life after he had been in the grave for four days. One disciple mentioned in the account is Thomas.
Although Thomas was traveling with the One whose word is trustworthy in any and every situation, we learn that Thomas’ thinking was not controlled by what he heard Jesus say. Rather, faced with something which had never happened before, Thomas let the situation determine whether or not to have faith in Jesus’ words. Thomas never expected what Jesus had revealed would actually happen.
Our spiritual walk with Jesus should never be built on human opinion or the philosophy and experiences of the past. Nothing should affect the nature of our spiritual expectations apart from Jesus’ own words, which we read in the Bible and study intently. We can’t walk in Jesus’ highest calling for us without the certainty that comes from hearing the words of Jesus and having faith that they will come about. We must remember this even in the most difficult situation in which we find ourselves. Nothing apart from the words of Jesus should guide our expectations and fashion our faith.
Jesus gave Thomas the greatest invitation he would ever receive in his lifetime-to enter the field of the miraculous where Jesus operates. However, Thomas was controlled by dangerous negative expectations, looking for death rather than the glorious resurrection of an already decomposing body. Thomas failed to walk in a disciplined way. He did not respect the promise that had been planned for him by the Father.
John, the reporter of the account in the eleventh chapter of his gospel, tells us that Thomas, upon hearing that Lazarus was dead, said, “Let us go that we might die with him.”
Even though Thomas walked with Jesus, he had the problem of someone who hears a great promise and continues to doubt that it is possible for the promise to be realized.
There are no bounds to the moral and spiritual decline we may reach when we doubt the words of Jesus. The doubter lives on a natural plane, seeing only natural possibilities and not the permanent truth of Jesus’ power to accomplish what He has spoken. We don’t share the goal Jesus has revealed and toward which He invites us to move.
Walking with Jesus without believing in Him and His promise is a journey full of negative aspects which take the place of the true purpose of the journey and the clear revelation of Jesus in His word.
In the richness of their revelations and promises, the words of Jesus possess all that’s necessary for us to discipline ourselves and walk in holiness. Even the most troubled soul can enter into the circle of His purpose, His joy and His expectation for us.
When we walk with Him, we become prepared to accept great sacrifices, knowing what a great privilege it is to be chosen to travel with Jesus and to see accomplished what we have never seen before. The Father has carefully planned for each individual to walk with Jesus to accomplish supreme goals that are only realized through powerful prayer and constant fellowship. These are spiritual mysteries leading us to spiritual life and fellowship planned by the Father for us, so that we can live close to Him.
Respecting these principles guarantees that we will persevere in our walk which will discipline us spiritually, enabling us to reach great goals and to maintain the highest level of prayer and fellowship with Jesus.
Thomas’ words reveal that he failed to understand Jesus. Even though Thomas walked with Jesus, he didn’t yet believe Jesus was the One who brought the universe into being with a word. Thomas didn’t yet believe that to be in the company of Jesus was to see new examples of new creation , supervised by Jesus as great Creator. Thomas didn’t yet believe that, through his own powerful fellowship with Jesus, he would see Lazarus rise from the grave and embrace new life.
It is not an earthly walk, so that we have to weep with the assembly of those who weep over a buried body, without hope. Rather it is in order that there might be shouts of celebration for the Creator in the party celebrating the restoration of the lost Lazarus, the renewed servant of Jesus.
Thomas is an example of someone making a journey with negative expectations opposite to what Jesus had revealed. It is a revolution against the promise and the plan. It is an expression of the inability of natural human thought to discipline itself in the journey of the spirit and the word of God.
It’s as though Jesus’ great promise, and the journey ordered by Him which carries this promise, had no certainty of accomplishing what had never been accomplished before.
We ask ourselves just how much we are like Thomas. Have we failed to trust Jesus in the decisions we are called on to make? Do we really believe He can do great things for us?
I invite you to place your faith in Jesus, without reservation. If you do, you’ll find a whole new life opening before you-one in which you see Jesus at work in the world and in your own life. You’ll walk in the footsteps of the Creator toward what you thought would be impossible.
The Apostle John tells us in the eleventh chapter of his gospel that, “On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.”
One of the virtues that distinguishes the Creator is that He participates in the process of restoring that which was lost and anything else we may have thought was not restorable.
Irreversible things happen. It’s a fact of life that someone placed in grave clothes, buried in full view of the world, and placed under ground will never be seen on earth again. The passing of man is an eternal phenomenon. It’s something we expect to see and eventually experience ourselves.
It would be more reasonable to expect the mountains, worn away by the elements over thousands of years, to return suddenly to their original place than it would to expect the return of a dead person four days after his burial. None of the friends of Lazarus expected to see him alive again. All, that is, except one.
It’s the prerogative of the One who established the systems of nature and laws of life to reveal what governs the elements of creation, and for Him to reverse what has been decreed by the natural laws of life.
For this reason, Jesus is not impeded in any way by natural law, even if that law dispatches a person to eternity. It doesn’t matter if the body has already been reunited with the dust of the earth.
Human life surrendered Lazarus’ body. It came from dust and returned to dust. But when Jesus raised Lazarus, He showed that He is the One who programmed the circle of human life-from the first stage when He created man from the clay of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life, until man’s body returns to dust. Jesus’ ability goes beyond the normal events we anticipate seeing in our lives.
Jesus breathes life into the processes of the universe at any point he desires, and approaches the result of any natural process in order to recreate the powerful and important elements within it that contained the principle of life. In this way, he shows that every structure and process of life has been ordered and planned by him, and fashioned by his hands. Thus when Jesus raised Lazarus from the result of that harsh process, which is the principle of dissolution into dust, he shows that our return to life in glorified bodies in the coming age, and our recovery from the process of our bodily sleep in the earth is guaranteed, since he is the one who established the terms of that far-reaching process. He is able to restore its valuable elements, namely us who believe in him. Time has no effect on his ability to supervise the different processes of life. Rather He is able to make anyone, no matter what condition they are in, stand before Him. For this reason Jesus said in John 6:40, “Everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” In other words he reveals that he is the one who creates and prepares the glory of the future for the friends of the past who loved him and believed in him when on earth. Jesus is that power who guarantees life today and promises a glorious future. All those who have been redeemed throughout history will share His glory.
But He is also the power of this present life. The Bible says in Colossians 1:16,17, “For by Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
He’s the power which keeps the components of the universe in control. He guarantees their continued existence, assuring us that they will not become subject to the factors of transience, loss and chaos. In His power, He guarantees that the universe will continue to fulfill its role.
The book of Hebrews, in chapter one and verse three, attributes this glorious task to Him when it says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.”
Thus, when He restored Lazarus to life after he had been buried four days, Jesus gives us a clear revelation that He has the power to restore that which is lost. Life depends on this restorative power, and on it we await the promise of new life.
Was Jesus disconcerted by the fact that Lazarus had been under the ground for four days? Did he consider that the task had become more difficult? On the contrary, he had waited so that a radical change could take place in the body of Lazarus, so that his miracle could not be considered an operation similar to any resurrection of a man from the dead that he had done in the past. He wanted to reveal His power used in creating the body, and not simply His power in giving life to a dead body.
In being prepared to work at such a long period after the event, Jesus doesn’t want His power to be seen as finite. Rather, He showed us that He is the infinite God, overcoming the difficult and the impossible. He’s the Creator of the human body and the author of the life that pulses through it while we live on earth.
He not only owns the body of His creation, but He also owns the spirit that inhabits the body. Since He owns it, He can restore it and reunite it once again with the body, as He did in the case of Lazarus.
Only the One who possesses the spirit that was withdrawn from Lazarus’ body is able to call the spirit and soul back into it. Can anybody recall a stinking body to life other than the one who possesses the spirit that was withdrawn from it, the one who knows that he is able to recall the spirit and soul of Lazarus. The spirit and soul of Lazarus hear his voice, since he is the voice that all believers are familiar with, the voice that directs all the devout who have been translated from this life, the voice that the angels of God obey in heaven, and the voice that gives rest to the souls of believers on this earth.
Today’s study of the raising of Lazarus should tell us that Jesus is the One who allows the separation of the body from the soul and the spirit, and He alone is the One who reunites the body, soul and spirit in man, no matter how much the elements of our being have been unraveled.
You can trust someone like this to be your redeemer. Jesus died on the cross to forgive your sin and give you eternal life. You can have the hope that your soul will be reunited with a glorious body, that you’ll become part of the redeemed people, that you’ll experience the eternal joys of heaven. Today, I invite you to make the decision to invite Jesus to be your Savior.
It is clear that the One who performed the first creation is the same One who repeated it in Bethany.
needs to be added to the creative work Jesus performed in
John tells us in the eleventh chapter of his gospel that Jesus carefully planned to be in Bethany at a time when everyone thought there was no possibility they would ever see Lazarus. When Jesus arrived, Lazarus’ buried body had been dead four days.
Jesus is the One who places opportunities in our life, and He is the One who has established the laws and principles that govern them. He offers new opportunities in a land of no opportunities. He is able to work against the progress of the most difficult laws of life. He’s the One who possesses an ancient creative thought and who sees opportunities to create a living body from the dust like He did with Adam. It’s not surprising that Jesus recognized an opportunity to raise a new, powerful, living body for Lazarus when He saw the dust to which Lazarus had been reduced.
The glory characteristic of our Creator is to be seen in the descent of the Creator to create opportunities for creative work in the sphere where we are seen to fail most, where we leave our dearest hopes buried without recall, where the ruins of spiritual and moral dissolution of our dearest friends and loved ones are to be seen, the place where nobody expects anything further to happen, since everything has disappeared into the soil without trace.
When life looks so depressing, something wonderful happens. When no opportunity exists or hope remains, Jesus tells His followers to move toward Lazarus’ body, something in which no one finds any further value. It’s in this arena where Jesus shows Himself to be the Creator of life and the establisher of its opportunities.
Consider the angels who visited our earth. They didn’t sit by the tombs, but they visited the living. It wasn’t within their power to bring a buried person out from a tomb and reverse poor humanity’s curse of death and dissolution. Angels don’t possess the power to determine the destiny of creatures or govern what has been established for mankind because of sin.
The only one who can change an eternal principle is the one who established and programmed that principle in the first place. To control human destiny one must have authority to legislate the principles and laws to which man has been subjected. Only God can undo the curse and release man from its effects.
The only person who has the prerogative to pardon a criminal is the king or the president of a nation. Likewise, only God can undo the curse of sin and reverse the fate held in store for our bodies once they have died. When a body has been changed into dust, only God can release it from the sentence brought about by original sin and passed upon the whole human race.
Jesus is the One who restores spiritual life to the human heart when it’s in the depths of corruption.
Angels and prophets have never released men from sin. They have never stood in front of a corrupt sinner and changed him. Moses never pronounced words of forgiveness for the sins of any of his contemporaries. Corruption spreads irreversibly and unceasingly to anyone who’s separated from fellowship with God because of sin and rebellion.
The corruption of Lazarus’ body resulted from the death of his body. Similarly, the corruption of a man’s heart is the result of his spiritual death and ensuing separation from God. Nobody except God, who was separate from sinful man, can stop the corruption of man, revive his heart, and restore his lost spiritual fellowship.
Restoring spiritual life to a person who is spiritually dead in sin is something Jesus accomplished. He restored life to a decomposing body already disappearing into dust. He did this so that we may know who it is that heals our spiritual sickness and restores to us the most precious thing we have, spiritual life and fellowship with God.
He did this to teach us not to call upon anyone who has not approached a person in Lazarus’ condition, whether he be human or angelic. When Jesus came to the most evil of sinners, He turned them into the most important saints in history. Changing people is a sign of His ability as the Creator.
For example, Jesus changed Mary Magdalene, possessed by seven evil spirits, and she went through Bethany preaching the Gospel. Jesus changed Levi, the sinful tax collector, and he became the apostle Matthew.
He changed Saul, the persecutor of the church and the murderer of disciples, who became Paul the apostle after Jesus showed himself to him on the road to Damascus and saved him from his sins, and he has saved millions like them in every generation.
All these examples show that the creative way Jesus approached the body of Lazarus is the same way He approaches any person who seeks Him and prays to Him.
The path of divinity is clearly marked by His grace, power and forgiveness every day of our lives which is, in itself, a testimony of the identity of the true Creator. Every day He revives humanity.
Are you denied opportunities? Do you feel your circumstances are so difficult that they present no expectation of hope? I ask you to remember that Jesus is the God who creates opportunities and brings blessings out of your despair. He gives you new hope to change your life and overcome what is so difficult for you to do on your own.
Trust Jesus for the impossible to happen. Continue following Him by faith. He will unveil His plan which will free your life and lead you out of that difficult situation you suffer.
Although prophets like Elijah raised a few people from the dead, we fail to find anyone but Jesus bringing to life someone who is buried and already decomposing. In the case of the raising of Lazarus, Jesus did so to declare His glory and to raise Lazarus back to life.
This is not the first time Jesus breathed into dust and made it a living person. He was with the Father in the early hours of creation when history began. No principles limit His work. There’s no aspect of the creation of man that Jesus cannot bring into existence with a word from His mouth.
No organ or cell refused to obey when Jesus Christ spoke to the dust and it became a living soul. In the case of Lazarus, no mechanism in the human body refused to obey that creative, divine voice that ordered him to stand up and live.
In Jesus are the springs of order, creation and life. That which is not, He wants to bring into being. In His presence is the secret of creativity for our lives.
In Jesus are explained the riddle of life and the secrets of creativity and order that life contains.
No history of prophets or of angels shows somebody moving towards a situation that is buried, stinking and dead. Jesus is the one who was there before the opportunity, before history and before creation. There are no principles that limit his work. He does not need to begin from a particular stage, or even from a cell. There is no aspect of the creation of man that he cannot bring into existence with a word from his mouth. There is no organ or cell that did not appear on the basis of Jesus Christ speaking to dust. There is no mechanism in the human body that was not established by that creative divine voice that stopped before the stinking body of Lazarus, ordering him to stand up and live. In Jesus are the springs of order, creation and life for that which is not and which he wants to bring into being. In his presence is the secret of creativity in our lives.
The way he approached that handful of dust in order to speak life into being explains the source of life. It reveals the riddle of life as lying in the presence of that un-beginning life about which the Gospel of John speaks: “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” (John 1:3-5).
The way Jesus raised a living body from dust by speaking to it is a great confirmation that the order of creation, including man, came into being without gradation through an order given by the one who performed the sign in Bethany, and that the creation came into being mature, living and complete as Jesus let his will be heard.
We see an important truth here for us. Jesus holds an opportunity for every dead society to receive spiritual life.
Jesus doesn’t have to wait for a decision from someone else in order to start work. He’s not a construction worker following designs drawn up by another. When He created Adam, it was not a gradual work, nor did it start from a situation any better than that of Lazarus, who had begun to turn into dust.
Jesus is the one who places spiritual life where there is no longer the slightest hint of its presence. A tremor of hope flows through hearts that are living without either purpose or hope; where there is no difference between their state and the state of the dead societies which we live in, just as there is no difference between the body of Lazarus which has changed into a handful of dust and the dust in which he has been buried.
There is hope of spiritual awakening for hearts through hearing the voice of Jesus. There is a hope for barren hearts that are devoid of spiritual life, and approaching day by day the state of the dead societies in which they live. This fact makes the passing of Jesus an opportunity of life for every spiritually dead society.
The declaration of Jesus’ word and His Gospel prepares the way for a great spiritual visitation by Jesus to any society suffering from the factors of corruption and separation from God. Where the word of Jesus is presented, He creates spiritual life when it’s least expected.
No society is beyond hope. Jesus can create spiritual life in a culture more corrupt, dead and putrid than the body of Lazarus. In a society constructed from the rubbish of man, the result of cheap production that contains neither meaning nor truth, we see the word of Jesus addressing those who are under society’s cruel yoke, suffering from a deadly heritage that’s burying their lives. He calls them to rise from under the authority of that deathly heritage and offers them new life.
As Jesus approached that pile of dust that was the body of Lazarus, to reveal his concern for the place where a greatly beloved friend of his had lived, indicating Jesus concern for any man who has been so effectively buried by a lying and corrupt heritage that Jesus’ friends had lost hope that he would rise from , just as the friends of Lazarus lost hope for Lazarus ,( I changed the sentence *) even though he had sat with Jesus and was counted among his friends and those who believed in him. They had also lost hope that a man in his state could emerge from under the corrupt earth and that treacherous heritage that had no faith in, love for, or contact with Jesus.
Today, many have joined the ranks of those who have been buried. Because of the corruption they lie beneath, there is no hope they will ever stand among the living. However, Jesus moves toward them, and His divine voice gives life, raising the soul from the clutches of a corrupt environment, false heritage and the dissolution of death.
Perhaps you too have friends or members of your family who lie beneath sin’s corrupt yoke. They live in corrupt conditions, where a healthy spiritual life is not expected to emerge. Don’t lose hope and don’t despair. A visit from Jesus can raise them up from that unhopeful state.
Pray to Jesus with fasting. Ask Him to save those you think are unapproachable. If you humbly pray and fast for such persons you will experience the impossible.
Jesus’ authority and power demand the restoration of those who are under the yoke of even the most corrupt culture.
Jesus does not work in terms of the number of days that have passed since death. For how often has Jesus worked in societies where moral corruption and death have reigned for even thousands of years.
We seem to believe such a work is possible only if little time has passed since people departed from God. We think that Jesus can only work in a society which has not become enmeshed in great perversions. Some say He needs a society which still preserves a form of spiritual and moral value if He is to accomplish His work.
To some extent, Lazarus’ body kept the form and cellular structure of a living body on the first and second days after his death. But by the fourth day, Lazarus’ body was at such an extreme stage of corruption that no one could any longer see any signs of the former life in it.
Today most people cannot accept the fact that spiritual life and faith in Jesus can arise in an environment suffering from extreme degrees of spiritual and moral corruption, as extreme as Lazarus’ physical corruption.
Corrupt heritage gives society a corrupt color. It lacks the attractiveness needed to cause anyone to want to return to it. It seems that there is no hope when dealing with such a society, any more than there was hope dealing with the corrupted body of Lazarus.
However, Jesus’ kingdom stretches far enough to demand that those who are subject to the most corrupt heritage be touched by Him. His thoughts are with those who have been buried by their traditions and their deceptive heritages, those who have become subject to corruption and the rule of a corrupt earth, those who have suffered the most severe dissolution because of it.
Jesus places His person and His power on the same earth under which Lazarus was buried, in order to summon His old friend from under its authority. By virtue of Jesus’ creativity, power, and knowledge, He has the prerogative to make His voice heard by every soul, even though the soul’s voice seems hidden from the world of the Spirit and removed from contact with Jesus’ followers.
Jesus is able to do this for us just as surely as He was able to call for Lazarus to “come forth” when the living were about to forget about him.
When called to Bethany where Lazarus lived, Jesus delayed crossing Jordan so a change could take place in the body of Lazarus. Time caused the body to begin to stink as it returned to earth. Jesus told us that He waited for this to happen so He could reveal His role in the creation of man. He wanted people to know that He worked on the earth, raising a living body from the clay at the first creation just like He was going to raise Lazarus.
Jesus’ knew what it was like before history began, and Jesus possessed the creative convictions on which the universe is based.
There is no divergence between the will of Jesus and the object that he has willed and has promised to bring into being. No logical human convictions can stop Jesus, for logic and the convictions of the universe dictate that one cannot project the thought of life into a tomb where a dear friend was buried four days ago. But Jesus is not repeating a human thought, or a thought based on what has happened in past history. Rather, Jesus is relating to experiences that he had before history began, and he has convictions based on his ability to do things never before seen in history. As Jesus prepares to restore a living body beginning from a pile of dust, secrets are revealed concerning the way things began, where those creative convictions were first formed, on the basis of which all things came into being. Who is this One who moved about the universe with creative convictions such as were witnessed in Bethany
Today, through His word, Jesus establishes the foundation on which our spiritual lives are based, just as in the past, He established the principles and the details upon which existence depends. Because of this, we must see in his thought guarantees that things will happen which have not yet happened in our lives. We must see his opinion concerning us as an assurance that things will be accomplished which nobody has expected. This is because it is he who has laid down the principles on which life and all of creation is based.. He has laid down principles in His Word so we may base our spiritual lives upon them. As we immerse ourselves in His Word, His creative grace and power flow through our lives and usher us into His creative work.
For this reason, we must base our lives on the Word of Jesus, and live our lives with the convictions which we draw from the certainty of His Word. even if we are called to stand with him where he is working, in the most difficult situation, raising out of it something that has never risen before, either in our generation or in any previous generation.
He proceeds to work when He alone has the plan. Remember that He didn’t perform any of the works of creation in consultation with the angels or any other created beings. When He stood in Bethany to bring His beloved friend, Lazarus, back to life from a handful of dust and some dead cells which were in the process of dissolution, Jesus showed that in His creativity He is independent from His creatures. He does not base His creativity on human experience or the growth of an intellectual human conception concerning what we think could happen in our lives. After all, He’s the One who has determined all the creative events that have happened in the past. and for that reason, He moves toward something that no prophet or human being dreamed would ever happen, in order to display that He is the decision maker who was there before the appearance of any creativity in the universe.
Jesus never asks counsel from us with our limited perspective, nor does He work according to our thoughts. He doesn’t follow a program conceived by even the most intelligent and wisest of His creatures. Instead, He brings someone to life who was beloved by the whole community of Bethany including the members of his family, someone who was considered lost forever, and who had become one of the citizens of another world. Jesus did this so that Lazarus might become a living illustration of the kind of work He did when He created mankind in the first place.
He did this without getting the approval of anyone. He didn’t ask if there were any possibility that a living being could be summoned from the remains of a decomposing body. In this way Jesus shows us that all things which exist spring from Him. Life comes from the effusion of His thought. He does not dally with the routine and logic of human life, but is the one who brings into existence the thought on which existence in all its details subsists.
This encourages us to continue trusting in Jesus to work in the lives of our loved ones whom we see in difficult circumstances and whom we consider spiritually and morally lost without hope. Continue to pray to Jesus as the Creator, for He is able to create new life in that dead, hopeless heart. He gives a new heart and a healthy spiritual personality that reflect His creative potency and His compassionate grace.
It’s my hope that you will find comfort in Jesus for your personal life; that you will develop an active prayer life, and that you’ll see Jesus working in the lives of your loved ones.
The effect of Jesus’ miracles is a clear sign of His divinity and His identity as the long-awaited Messiah.
In an open place exposed to public gaze, Jesus performed the raising of Lazarus, a sign equivalent to the creation of Adam. Because Jesus did this miracle openly and not in secret, He was famous in His generation.
Jesus performed miracles in the city and in the suburbs, so news of the miracle spread immediately to the Roman rulers and resistant Jews. This caused the Jewish elders to take serious note of Jesus and made them afraid for their future.
John records in chapter 11 and verses 47 and 48 of his gospel that after the resurrection of Lazarus, the Jewish elders said, “What are we accomplishing? Here is this man performing many miraculous signs. If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
Our train of thought continues in John 12:17 through 19 with these words, “Now the crowd that was with Him when He called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that He had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet Him.”
In John 12:20 through 22, John tells us that the miracle caused some Greeks from a far-away culture to seek Jesus after He had raised Lazarus from the dead. This confirms that an outstanding sign had happened, moving those even of a far culture to approach Jesus in order to see and to worship him
This unique sign also influenced public opinion toward the Nazarene. Jesus had no need to publicize Himself. The people went out to meet Him carrying olive branches, crying out “ Blessed be He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
The Bible tells us in John 12:17 through 19, “ Now the crowd that was with Him when He called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that He had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet Him. So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
The results of the miracle and its effects on different classes of people and different nationalities who thronged the city show that the miracle was genuine. It wasn’t a passing bit of news spread by one individual in a later generation and attributed to an earlier generation, as often happens with the propaganda of false prophets.
When the people saw Jesus’ miracles, they received Him voluntarily, without compulsion caused by the sword. Ordinary people had seen for themselves what had happened in the city of Jerusalem
The account, according to John 11:18, tells us that Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem. The miracle took place under the eyes of a crowd made up of Romans, Jews and Greeks. Jesus was in a cosmopolitan center in intense contact with important civilizations.
John 11:19 tells us that “Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.” This confirms that the family had many social contacts. The loss of this young man, who was the hope of his family, was disastrous news which had spread among the community, drawing friends and distant relatives alike.
Jesus’ friends were not the only people talking about the miracle, and the disciples were not the only spectators. The works of Jesus were not recorded by one individual alone or by a small group of people. Rather they were witnessed by friends and foes alike. They had stirred the whole city, and made Jesus to be received with cheering and singing by the ordinary people as the Messiah about whom the Old Testament had prophesied that he would do great miracles when he came.
The facts about Jesus and documentation of His miracles should stir us to believe in Him. He’s a real person, able to work in our situation as He worked among His friends and disciples while He lived on earth. There is no problem greater than the capacity of Jesus to intervene and resolve it.
How do you receive the intervention of Jesus in your own life? The first thing you need to do is to strengthen your relationship with Him. If you have not yet accepted Him as your personal Savior, you can do so now by praying and asking forgiveness based on what He did on the Cross for you. He has promised to take away your unrighteousness and your sins and give you His righteousness.
Copyright ă 2004 by Dr. Rafat Amari. All rights reserved.