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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Astonishment (02/02/12)

TITLE: Amazing
By C D Swanson


Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha were friends of Jesus.
So it was only natural when Lazarus fell ill, that a message be sent to Jesus.

"Lord, the one you love is sick," the message was abundantly clear. Jesus did not respond readily. In fact, He decided to stay put before going to Lazarus' hometown of Bethany. Jesus knew He would perform a great miracle in God's glory, so that the Son of God might be glorified. So, henceforth, He was not in a hurry. In fact Jesus waited days before His journey to Bethany.

Meanwhile, in Bethany...Lazarus died. He was in the tomb for four days when Jesus arrived. Mourners were standing by, wailing and crying...Mary and Martha were crushed by their brother's death. Martha was on her knees travailing openly-sobbing while clutching her chest, when she noticed Jesus. She stood up quickly and cried.

"Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."

Jesus told Martha, "Your brother will rise again." Martha believed He was speaking about the final resurrection of the dead. She nodded and wiped her tears away.

"I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." Jesus looked at each person in the crowd of mourners, watching their faces closely.

Jesus had not entered the village yet-and so Martha went and told Mary that Jesus wanted to see her. Jesus wanted to avoid stirring up the crowd. Bethany was not far from Jerusalem where Jewish leaders were plotting against Jesus.

When Mary saw Jesus she was grieving with pained emotion, and the Jews with her were wailing too. Jesus was deeply moved by their pain, and He wept.

Jesus walked to the tomb of Lazarus and asked the crowd gathered to remove the stone that covered the hillside burial place. Jesus heard the crowd muttering, "What is He going to do? He is dead for four days-surely it is too late."

Jesus looked up to heaven and prayed to His Father, and closing with these powerful words: "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. And I know that you hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that you have sent me." And when he spoke, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth."

Mary, Martha, and the crowd of mourners waited in silence, and suddenly- Lazarus came out after Jesus' command!

"Loose him, and let him go," Jesus ordered.

Mary and Martha stared in wide eyed amazement at the miracle they witnessed! The two sisters immediately genuflected, giving thanks, and praise, to the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and King.

Scripture Reference:
John 11:1-45

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This article has been read 548 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/09/12
This is a nice retelling of the story. I studied this recently in Bible study and some of the traditions and history of the day make this an even more astonishing story.
Hiram Claudio02/10/12
A wonderful re-telling and right on topic.

I like how at the end Mary and Martha "genuflect." At first I thought it meant to make the sign of the cross and then wondered how could they since the cross hadn't happened yet. But then I looked up the word and it actually means "to bend a knee in reverence; to express a servile attitude." Wow! That really touched me deeply to see the true meaning. Thank you for making me look it up! A wonderful piece of writing.
Catherine Maher02/11/12
Great piece here. Can you even begin to imagine how we would react if our loved one was raised from the dead? I think we need to have our hearts eyes opened by more articles like this one. Well done!
Dannie Hawley 02/12/12
I loved this re-telling of one of my favorite Bible stories!Very nice job.
Linda Goergen02/12/12
Perfect story for “astonishment” topic...and you have retold it so well. I just love the fact that Jesus resurrecting Lazarus was a foreshadowing of what Jesus will do for everyone who believes in Him. So an astonishing event times millions or more...is beyond astonishing...it is mind boggling love from an astonishing savior! Loved your story and how it got my mind pondering it all. Great job.
Helen Curtis02/14/12
This is a nice entry, and yes it certainly fits the topic well.

As I was reading through, I did feel it was a little bit like reading a translation of the actual scripture; I wonder if you might have written this from the perspective of Mary or Martha, sharing their internal conflict and finally their absolute amazement and elation at the resurrection of their brother. Just a thought, and definitely not a criticism! Well done on a great entry.
Lillian Rhoades 02/14/12
Yes, thanks for that wonderful recounting of the Lazarus story. Indeed, Mary and Martha were amazed at what Jesus had done, but so was the crowd. Should you decide to expand on the story, you might want to consider using children in the crowd to tell the story of their "shock and awe" at this amazing miracle, and how it affected them. This would allow you to put your special, creative touch to the story.

Thanks for reminding us of the wonderful works Christ did while He lived on earth.
Lisa Fowler02/15/12
You're right on topic. This must have been a MOST astonishing moment for all involved. Thanks for sharing.