This Week's Story

Will the guilty survive and the innocent die?

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

Lazarus is alive and ENDANGERED. part three

“I don’t understand why you are upset, Lazarus. You were dead. Now, you are alive!”

“I’m happy to be alive, sister, but I am frightened! I am a threat to our religious leaders. I attract attention away from their authority. They are afraid of people’s curiosity about Jesus and me.

“People are asking, ‘What happened to Lazarus? How could Jesus raise Lazarus to life after he had been dead for four days? Does Jesus have power over death?’ The worst nightmare of the religious leaders is that people will follow Jesus instead of them.

“Since the news about me is spreading from town to town, the priests are meticulously plotting to kill Jesus.

“I do not know what Jesus will do. Will he protect me and himself?”

“Lazarus, maybe the priests will stop plotting against Jesus and leave you alone. Neither of you has broken Jewish or Roman laws.”

Lazarus gently cupped his hands on each side of his sister Mary’s trusting face.

“Mary, tell me what you remember about John the Baptist?”

“I know he was a prophet who boldly declared God’s truth.

“He told huge crowds of people, ‘Repent of your sins. Don’t act as though you are righteous because Abraham was your ancestor. You need God’s forgiveness.’

“He dared tell King Herod, ‘You have broken the law by divorcing your wife and taking your brother’s wife.’ Herod banished John to prison. Then Herod’s new wife and her daughter tricked Herod into having John beheaded.”

“Mary, our nation’s justice system is broken. The guilty survive and the innocent die. The chief priests and Herod live above the law. The chief priests pretend to be righteous, but they are as corrupt as the king.”

“Lazarus, what will you do?”

“I don’t know exactly, but I will follow Jesus.”

In the following days the people became increasingly divided. Some were informers and reported to religious leaders what Jesus did. Some people believed in Jesus.

The priests released a public order: “Anyone who sees Jesus is to report him immediately to the chief priests. He will be arrested.”

Six days before the Passover celebration, Jesus came to Jerusalem, the religious center of the nation. When people heard of his arrival, they flocked to see him and Lazarus. The priests decided Lazarus must be killed.

During the week before Passover Jesus spent many hours teaching his disciples, preparing them for their future and what would soon happen to him. He told them, “You know where I am going and the way.”

One disciple asked, “What is the way?”

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Within the week Jesus was tried in a court rigged by Jewish religious leaders, sent to a Roman court, and crucified. Three days later he arose from the dead, as he had told his disciples he would do. No further definitive record is known about Lazarus. This record is found primarily in Luke 3 and John 11 through 14 of the Bible.

This is Barbara Steiner with a story of life and death. Find many more stories at www.thisweeksstory.com.

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