Sunday (Home) School March 29

‘Jesus raises Lazarus’

The Gospel of John chapter 11 tells the amazing story of Jesus bringing his friend Lazarus back to life! this story also contains the shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35, which says, “Jesus wept.” It’s a reminder that Jesus is with us when we are sad and he feels our sadness too.

Read the passage together:

John 11:1-7, 17-45 (New Living Translation)

A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”

But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”

When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss.

When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.” “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

“Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” So Mary immediately went to him.

Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them.

They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”

Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”

Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.”

Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in graveclothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” Many of the people who were with Mary believed in Jesus when they saw this happen.

Watch a video of the passage:

A Video for Younger Children

A Video for Older Children

Explore the Gospel

Discuss it…
  • Who are the main characters?
  • Where does Jesus show up? What does he do?
  • What do you like about this story? What do your find strange or surprising?
Play the ‘Parachute Tomb Game’
  • Grab your biggest bed sheet
  • Have kids squat around the edge of the “parachute”, holding its edges
  • Remember how Lazarus’s sisters were sad when Lazarus died and was put in a tomb. But Jesus that did something amazing!
  • Call out: “Oh no! Lazarus is in the tomb!” Have the kids raise the parachute, pull it over their heads, and then sit on the edges to create a tent.
  • After a few seconds, shout: “Lazarus, come out!” Lead kids in raising the parachute, coming out from under it, and waving it up and down.
  • How do you think Mary and Martha felt when they saw Lazarus come out? How do you think Lazarus felt when he came out of the tomb?
Get creative…

Download and print the templates below to help you draw the story, to colour a picture that reminds us that God is with us, and to remember that we can take everything makes us sad to Jesus.

Or, draw you own story of the picture, colour your own picture that says “God , you are with us”, and/or cut out your own tear-shaped pieces of paper and write on them whatever makes you sad, and then add the verse “Jesus Wept”.