I’m working on an essay that explores the trial motif in John’s gospel. Basically, the idea is that John has patterned his narrative as a great trial between God and the world worked out through the means of trials between Jesus and the Jews.
I’d never noticed before the relation between Jesus raising of Lazarus and his own death.
Throughout the Gospel of John, we are being orientated through the narrative to understand that the glorification of Jesus will be via the cross. Knowing that changes the way you read this text:
When Jesus heard it, He said, â€œThis sickness will not end in death but is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.â€ (John 11:4)
After raising Lazarus the story transitions immediately to the discussion in which the Sanhedrin Council that resolves that Jesus must die. Then, throughout Chapter 12 we keep hearing about the raising of Lazarus on the lips of the crowd. It is the event within John’s Gospel that parallels the clearing of the Temple in Matt-Luke. It is the event which effectively brings about his own death.
It adds poignancy to Thomas’ miserable aside:
Then Thomas (called â€œTwinâ€) said to his fellow disciples, â€œLetâ€™s go so that we may die with Him.â€ (John 11:16 HCSB)
Life for Lazarus means death for Jesus.