And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
Jesus did not operate in secret. He was well-known by the people of the day, and they recognized Him when He came to Bethany. They knew about the things He had done before, perhaps even witnessed a miracle themselves. But Jesus is capable of much greater works than we have already witnessed from Him. Though it was amazing that Jesus caused the blind to see, that wasn’t the extent of His power. So let’s not limit Him, but expect even greater things from Him. Let’s not think that He could never do more than He has already done. His power is limitless and His ability infinite.
Indeed, Jesus does much more than simply prevent death, although He had done that many times before. Jesus gives new life to what is already dead. As the author of life, He would show that He had power to give life again. As our Savior, He would show that He had power to defeat death, that His will was even stronger than the grave. He would prove to Martha just what He had told her: He is the resurrection and the life, our ultimate source of physical and spiritual life.
Raising Lazarus from the dead was an important miracle because it demonstrated the very work of Christ in making us new. No matter how much Lazarus’ body had decayed, Jesus could make it whole again. No matter how long it had laid dormant and unmoving, Jesus could coax it to move. No matter how long he had been dead, Jesus could give him life. And He does the same for us. The amount of time we’ve lived in sin or the extent to which it has corrupted us or how far we’ve sunk into it is irrelevant because Jesus’ power is greater and can overcome anything. Sin once had its way with us, leading to our spiritual decay, but Jesus stands outside our tomb and calls us forth into new life in Him.
Let’s not forget the power that Jesus has. Nothing is impossible. The blind are made to see, the sick are healed, the lame can walk, even the dead are raised, and our sin is defeated. And when Jesus gives us eternal life, we are truly alive for the first time, and what a difference that makes. We don’t have to stay buried in death and defeat, but we can come forth to Jesus in rebirth, renewal and revival.