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Sermons and Outlines

John 11:32-44; 12:1


Intro: This is one of the most amazing passages in the entire Bible! Here we are allowed to see the glory, power and majesty of the Christ's power in a dazzling display. Here was see a man named Lazarus go from the sickbed to the Master's table!

In this text, we see what Jesus did for Lazarus. But, we can also see what He can do for the person who is still lost and in sin today. This passage shows us how Jesus can take you from your deathbed to His table. If you don't know the Lord, this would be a great day to come to Him by faith. If you do know Him, it would be a great time to remember what He did for you when He saved you by His grace. Let's notice the truths contained here as we watch Him take Lazarus From The Deathbed To The Master's Table.


A. V. 32, 39 He Was Dead - Poor old Lazarus wasn't just sick any longer, he was dead! He was in a tomb surrounded by mourning family and friends, but he couldn't hear them. Even the Lord Jesus showed up at his grave, but he was unaware of the presence of the Lord. Lazarus was a dead man! He was unable to respond to his surroundings. (Note: In his condition, he is a picture of every person who does not know the Lord Jesus. Ephesians 2:1 says that the sinner is lost in trespasses and sins. In that lost condition, the sinner cannot sense the presence of the Lord. He cannot respond to the things of God. He cannot enjoy fellowship with God. He is dead and he is in a pitiful condition.)

B. V. 39 He Was Decayed - According to Martha, Lazarus has been dead long enough for the decay process to have set in on his body. He was just as dead as he had ever been, but his death was far more apparent. (Note: Dead is dead! In the New Testament, Jesus resuscitate three people. You do know that there is a vast difference between a resuscitation and a resurrection, don't you? In a resuscitation you die again, but when you are resurrected, you are alive forevermore! Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus, she had just died, Luke 8, the bloom of life was still evident in her cheeks. He also rasied the widow of Nain's son, Luke 7. He had been dead for several hours, as they were taking him out to the burying place when Jesus passed by. His body had already grown cold, and the effects of death were surely evident. Jesus also raised Lazarus. When Jesus arrived at his tomb, he had been dead for 4 days. He had been dead long enough to stink. Do you know what all of these have in common? They were all dead! None any more or less than the other. They were dead! What a picture of sinners! The lost person may be good and moral, they may have they may have the look of life and goodness all about them, but if they are lost, they are dead. Others have some of the signs of their lost condition in their life. They may curse, drink or life a morally unclean lifestyle. They, too, are dead in trespasses and sins. Then there are the hardcore sinners. They are lost, they make no bones about it and their lives prove it. They have the stench of sin all around them! They are dead and everyone knows it! The whole point is, they are all dead. There aren't degrees of dead, just degrees of decay! And just as the physically dead are good for nothing but to be buried, the spiritually are fit for nothing but Hell, Rom. 6:23.)

C. V. 21, 32, 36 He Was Doomed - As you listen Martha, Mary and the crowd talk about Lazarus, you get the idea that they have given up on him. In their minds, he is dead and gone and nothing more can be done about it. Had this been any other cemetery, I might have agreed with them, but there was one subtle difference that day: Jesus Christ was there! The others may have been ready to leave Lazarus in the grave, but Jesus wasn't! He makes all the difference! (Note: He is the only One Who can make a difference in that person who is dead in sin and headed to Hell! If Jesus had not passed by where Lazarus was and called him to life, he would have rotted in that grave! And, friend, you can try an method you wish, but if the Lord Jesus Christ doesn't bring life to your dead soul, then you are doomed as well! Jesus and Jesus alone makes the difference in the life of the dead sinner, Acts 4:12; John 14:6.) (Note: We may give up on folks like this crowd did with Lazarus, but thank God, Jesus doesn't operate like we do! When it looked like there was no hope, the Lord came to where Lazarus lay in darkness and He changed everything for Him! What has He done for you? What do you need Him to do?)


A. It Was A Personal Call - When the Lord Jesus called out at that tomb, He issued a very personal call. He called specifically for Lazarus to come out of that tomb! That call was for no one else that day, but it was for Lazarus alone. It was a call designed for one man and one man alone! (Note: Friends, the Gospel call is not a general call to all men! It is a call to individuals from a holy God, John 6:44. I know that "whosoever will" may be saved, Rom. 10:13; Rev. 22:17. I know that God "will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth", 1 Tim. 2:4. However, I also know that the call of the Lord is an intensely personal call! When He comes calling for you, He will come to you as an individual. He won't ask your mom or dad. He won't speak to your husband or wife. When He comes, He will come for you personally! How many of us could testify to that truth this morning? You see, "whosoever" is for all, but it is for individuals! Jesus came to save individuals, Luke 19:10.)

B. It Was A Precise Call - The call was very clear that day "Come forth!" Jesus told Lazarus exactly what he was supposed to do! (Note: When He comes calling, there will be no doubt as to what He wants you to do! When He comes calling, His call will be for you to come to Him. His call will be for you to believe on Him by faith. His call will be a call to repent of your sins and to turn Jesus for salvation, Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9; Matt. 11:28; John 6:47. When He calls, there will be no doubt as to what He wants you to do!)

C. It Was A Powerful Call - This call was a powerful call for Lazarus. It brought him out of death and darkness into light and life! It changed everything for this man forever. (Note: Such is the power of the Master's call! When the call of Jesus comes to a life and when that call is heeded, it has the power and the potential to change all of life for you forever! His call has the power to penetrate the blindness and deadness of sin and awaken the lost person to his need of the Lord. His call is a painful thing, but it is necessary and, in the end, it turns out to be a blessed thing because it leads to salvation!)


(Ill. When the call of the Lord came to this man in that tomb, and when that call was heard and heeded by Lazarus, everything changed for him.)

A. It Brought Life - Here is a man who has been dead for four days, but at the command of Jesus, He is alive! He is able to meet with and embrace his family and friends. He is able to have fellowship with those he loves again! He is alive! (Note: when a sinner comes to Jesus for salvation, that sinner is brought out of death and is made alive, Eph. 2:5. Now he can fellowship with God. Now, he is equipped to worship and glorify the God of Heaven, John 4:24. Everything has changed and now he is alive to those things that he was dead to before. In fact, he now has an appetite for those things!)

B. It Brought Liberty - When Lazarus come out of that tomb, he was still bound up in the graveclothes in which they had buried him. Jesus issues the command that he is to be set free from those bindings. He is no longer dead and he is not to look like nor live like a dead man! He has been delivered from death with all it bondage! (Note: This is just what those who come to Jesus for salvation experience! He loosens all the chains that bind you! He breaks the power of sin on your life and allows you to go free, Rom. 6:14! He liberates everyone that He saves, 1 Pet. 1:18-19! Ill. Slave girl and kind master!)

C. It Brought Light - The Bible says that the face of Lazarus was covered with a napkin. Because of that covering, Lazarus was in darkness. When Lazarus was brought to life, Jesus commanded that all the things that were binding him be removed. This allowed the light to flood into his eyes. (Note: when a lost person comes to Jesus for salvation, they come to Him in darkness. They are in darkness regarding their condition, their sins and as to how they should live their lives. When He comes in, He brings His light with Him. He breaks the darkness and brings the lost one into the kingdom of His light, 1 Pet. 2:9.)

D. It Brought Luxury - Lazarus had spent four days sealed up in a tomb, totally oblivious to his condition. Now that he is alive, he is seen sitting at a table, fellowshipping with the Lord Jesus Christ! Everything has changed for this man! (Note: This is how it is for all those who know the Lord! He fellowships with then here, Heb. 13:5; Matt. 28:20, and He promises us that we will fellowship with Him in His home on high, John 14:1-3; Rev. 19. To think that HE would take people who were dead in sin, wash them in His Own blood, saved them by His grace and then spend eternity fellowshipping with them is a blessing too large to get my mind around! What luxury is ours when we know the Lord!) (Note: People say, "How can they live without Jesus?" The answer is easy! They simply don't know they don't have Him. They have never been with Him and do not know what they are missing! They won't until He comes calling, turns on the light in their souls and brings them into the light!)

Conc: Has Jesus Christ ever showed up at the tomb of your life and called you to come to Him? Did you go when He called? Or, are you still trapped in the darkness, lost and waiting? If you need salvation, and Jesus is calling you, please come to Him. If your relationship with Him needs work, then please come before Him and do what He is speaking to your heart about. He can and will move you from the deathbed to the Master's Table!

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