There can be no separation or contrast between the authority of God and the authority of Christ.
38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
If you read this story and you sense there are “Easter” elements in it, you are reading well. A dead man lies in a “cave, and a stone laying against it.” Jesus says those who believe are about to “see the glory of God.”
It only took Jesus’ voice, “Lazarus come out,” to overcome death. He just said it, and it was. And if in that sentence you hear an echo of the creation account in Genesis, again, you are reading well.
Let me remind you of our familiar verses in Colossians…
Colossians 1:16 (ESV)
16 For by[a] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.
This is the seventh sign miracle in John's Gospel. It is the number of wholeness, perfection. Taken together—turning the water to wine, cleansing the Temple, healing the nobleman’s son, healing the lame man, feeding the multitude, healing the blind man, and now raising Lazarus from death—these signs are pointing to Jesus as the Son of God.
Jesus could simply say, “come out of death Lazarus,” and death could not hold him. Because Jesus is Sovereign, Jesus is God.
Let’s allow the Colossians Creed to guide our prayer today, as it gives us the words we need to properly and adequately express the sovereign glory of Jesus. Take all of the personal pronouns referring to Jesus, and replace them with “You…”
Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV)
15 You are the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[a] You, Jesus all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through You and for You. 17 And You are before all things, and in You all things hold together. 18 And You are the head of the body, the church. You are the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything You might be preeminent. 19 For in You all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through You to reconcile to Yourself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of Your cross.
Before closing this devotion, take a moment and bring to mind one thing—at this moment—that you are thankful for. And thank God for it.