“A Cloud & A Bridge to Freedom”
Verses 41 – 42
“Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.’”
Jesus lifted up His eyes when He spoke to the Father.
Such a human thing to do! Often when I pray outside I look up to the sky. When I run and talk to God, I often gaze at the cloud formations. Think of how often in the Bible a “cloud” is associated with God.
- God set His “rainbow in a cloud” as a sign of the covenant.
- God was present as the Israelites wandered in the desert, manifesting His presence in a “cloud by day.”
- God called to Moses out of the “midst of a cloud” and spoke to Moses for 40 days and nights.
- The Lord descended in a cloud and stood at the door of the tabernacle and talked with Moses.
- On the Mountain of Transfiguration, a “bright cloud overshadowed them” and God’s voice spoke from the cloud, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
- When Jesus returns, He will come “in a cloud with power and great glory.”
- When Jesus ascended to Heaven, “He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.”
Jesus’ opening of His prayer is for our benefit. He is teaching us.
- Jesus knows God hears his every prayer; He wanted those observing in that day and us in our day to know that God hears when Jesus prays.
Now you might have thought that I was going to conclude that therefore God hears our every prayer. But what I primarily see in this is the role of Jesus as our Mediator.
- Jesus was sent as a type of “middle man” between God, the Father, and us. He was the “go between,” our “bridge” to Eternal Life. “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” 1 Tim. 2:5.
- He is seated at the right hand of the Father, always interceding for us!
Verses 43 – 43
“Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’ And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.’”
John is the only Gospel writer who records this miracle. Let me share this information from one of my resources (Every Miracle in the Bible by Larry Richards).
“Jesus had already restored the life of a widow’s son (Luke 7) and Jairus’s daughter (Luke 8; Mark 5). Each of these restorations occurred immediately after the person had died. The custom in first-century Judaism was to bury an individual on the day of his death. But the Jews were aware of the possibility of a coma, so they would check a tomb for three days after the burial to see if the victim had revived. After three days, all hope of awakening from a coma was gone, and the body would have begun to decay.
The raising of Lazarus was significant because it took place the full three days after he had died, plus one extra day (John 11:39)! There could be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Christ had restored a person who was truly dead.”
“He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’
Jesus said to them, ‘Loose him, and let him go.”
- Jesus came that we may have life: “Come forth!”
- And that we may have it more abundantly: “Loose him and let him go.”
Go forth in freedom and carry on!