Continued from: How Jesus Resurrected Lazarus
How did Jesus conspire with Lazarus?
How could Lazarus wait alive in the cave?
The two sisters sent word to Jesus that Lazarus was ill. Later, Jesus arrived in Bethany and found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. Jesus called his name and Lazarus walked out of the tomb by himself. But where was Jesus when they sent word to him that Lazarus was ill?
(Jn 10,40) He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. 41 Many came to him and said, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true”. 42 And many there began to believe in him. (11,1) Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany… '
John' was divided into chapters and verses by the church and not by the original author. We have to follow his time frame. He links the successive events by using ‘then…’ or he mentions that it happened after so many days… When locating Jesus, the author says '42 And many there began to believe in him. (11,1) Now a man was ill…' which means not several days afterward. We cannot say that it happened in any other time. We have to stick to his time frame. So Jesus remained where John first baptized. John the Baptist was baptizing throughout all of the Judean wilderness and along the Jordan River, but at the time of this particular incident where was he?
(Jn 1,26) John answered them, “I baptize with water, but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, 27 the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie”. 28 This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Therefore, John was baptizing in Bethany. And where was Bethany?
(Jn 11,18) Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.
(Mk 11:1) As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples…
Bethany is situated on the Mount of Olives facing Jerusalem. Mount of Olives is still in the same place. It doesn’t move much. Bethany should remain on the Mount of Olives facing Jerusalem and two miles away. Those who try to place Jesus away from Lazarus are literally ‘moving mountains’. (There was no ‘other’ Bethany to the east. To Christian apologists see: Bethany beyond the Jordan). John the Baptist was baptizing everywhere throughout the Judean wilderness and along the Jordan River, but at the time of this particular incident, he was at Bethany at the Mount of Olives. So, when the sisters sent word to Jesus on day zero that Lazarus was ill, Jesus was already in Bethany at a walking distance from Lazarus. Halleluiah…
(n 11,1) Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany, the village of Mary, and her sister Martha. 2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfumed oil and dried his feet with her hair; it was her brother Lazarus who was ill. 3 So the sisters sent word to him saying, “Master the one you love is ill”. 4 When Jesus heard this he said, “This illness is not to end in death, but it is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it”. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Day two, Lazarus alive, Jesus still in Bethany at a walking distance from Lazarus.
7 Then after this he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea”. 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and you want to go back there?”
Bethany is situated on the Mount of Olives. Mount of Olives had a small community of Bethpage and Bethany. It had a Sadducee majority (Sadducees, Pharisees, Essenes… are Jewish sects). The Sadducees did not persecute Jesus, so, he often found refuge at their Mount of Olives. Here he asked his disciples to leave their refuge at Bethany and go back to where the Pharisees tried to stone him.
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in a day? If one walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him”.
Blah, blah, blah… Day three, they leave Bethany towards Judea with Lazarus still alive. Bethany is two miles east of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is only half an hour walking distance from Bethany. All of Judea proper is within thirty miles radius. They should reach any point in Judea within twelve walking hours. Logic says that they should reach any point in Judea within two days maximum.
11 He said this and then told them, “Our friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him”. 12 So the disciples said to him, “Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved”. 13 But Jesus was talking about his death, while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep. The disciples believed that Lazarus was asleep as they last saw him in Bethany and not dead. 14 So then Jesus said to them clearly, “Lazarus has died. 15 And I am glad for you that I was not there, that you may believe. Let us go to him.”
Jesus wants to make his disciples believe that he could do real miracles and ‘RAISE THE DEAD’. So he leads them out of Bethany and makes clear to them that he was away from Lazarus when he ‘DIES’ so that they may believe that he really can raise the dead. He starts heading back to Bethany, and at a maximum of twelve hours walking distance from Bethany. No matter what day it is, from any point in Judea they should arrive in Bethany within twelve walking hours, a maximum of two days.
16 So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go to die with him”.
‘Yes, I am stupid’.
17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Jesus arrives after declaring Lazarus dead the day before maximum, but the sisters have already declared Lazarus dead and in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask God, God will give you”. 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day”. 25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” 28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying, “The teacher is here and is asking for you”. 29 As soon as she heard this, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 For Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still where Martha had met him. 31 So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her saw Mary get up quickly and go out, they followed her, presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”. 33 When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled,
Notice the exact words of Martha and Mary ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died’. Martha already told Jesus that Lazarus is dead, but he did not weep then because the Jews were not there. Only when the Jews are watching he weeps and shows emotions to beloved Lazarus.
34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come, and see”. 35 And Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” 37 But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?” 38 So Jesus perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a CAVE, and a stone lay across it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone”. Martha, the dead mans’ sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days”. 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”
Christian apologists have a very curious slogan “Who moved the stone?”; as if it were a miracle.
41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. 42 I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 And when he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go”.
Jesus’ body was bound with burial cloths along with the spices. But Lazarus was not prepared for burial according to the Jewish burial custom. ‘The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth.’ The myrrh and aloes and the burial cloths allover the body were missing.
There was no stench (although, the stench of a dead rat would have corrected the ambiance and made it a more realistic ‘resurrection’).
Do not try this at home: This was a staged resurrection. The two sisters sent Jesus a word that Lazarus was ill so that he starts his plan. He remained for two days near Lazarus. Then he led his stupid disciples towards mainland Judea where the Pharisees tried to stone him. Then Jesus wasted time in order to let Lazarus do his part. Lazarus disappeared for a while and the sisters claimed that he was dead and already buried. At the planed time for his staged resurrection, Lazarus tied himself up and waited in the cave for Jesus to call him out. When Jesus returned, everybody played his part as planned, tears, even the exact words “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”. They knew that Jesus was near Lazarus all along and lied about it in front of the Jews. Lazarus simply waited in the cave for Jesus to call him and led the Jews to believe that Jesus was the Messiah who can do real miracles and even raise the dead...
(Jn 11,5) Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
If Jesus could really raise the dead, he would not have called his beloved disciple out of a cave. He would have led the Jews to the nearest graveyard, dug up a skeleton and brought it back to life. But of course he didn’t because he couldn’t.