The Sleeper Must Awaken
Hmmmm, perhaps there is more to this Lazarus story than meets the eye. Firstly it is most assuredly fact. But why is it not included in the other Gospel accounts? To answer this, first we should ask ourselves a question, "why are there four Gospels?" Why are 3 very similar while the fourth is quite different. Ahh, good question.
4 Tribal encampments, 4 Species, 4 Cherubim, 4 Seasons, 4 Gospels, 4 Wives
We won’t go into what these represent, which is another study all on its own. Suffice to say that the 4 gospels are related to the 4 Cherubim in Ezekiel chapter one, the Lion, the Ox, the Man (Adam in Hebrew) and finally the Eagle. Why so? Well each of the cherubim in Ezekiel look at the one sitting on the sapphire throne from a different perspective, 90 degrees apart and so do the gospel writers.
Matthew sees Yeshua as the King, the son of David, that is, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Matthew starts with a very Jewish introduction, a genealogy and concentrates on things pertaining to Yeshua’s earthly Davidic roots. Mark looks at Yeshua as the Servant Son. It is the shortest gospel, with only 16 chapters, it is not concerned with details or mystical things, just what Yeshua did, that is, Mark is looking at Yeshua as an Ox, a servant doing the work of the ministry his father has given him. Luke sees Yeshua as the Son of Man, he looks at him from the perspective of his humanity and adds many details in that regard. These first three gospels are called the synoptic gospels, that is, they are very similar.
The final gospel, John is quite different in the way it starts, and its themes and what it concentrates on. All the other synoptic gospels, look at Yeshua from an earthly perspective, as a Lion (Matthew = Son of David), an Ox (Mark = Servant Son), and a man (Luke = Son of Man). John’s gospel is different, it looks at Yeshua from a heavenly perspective. It begins quite mystically looking at Yeshua as the Word, the very one that spoke the Universe into being. For when the Father spoke the Universe together, he created the Hebrew Letters and these Hebrew Letters from Aleph to Tav were personified in His Son. John’s gospel begins with a commentary on Genesis chapter one and shows us Yeshua’s pre-incarnate existence as the beginning of the creation of God and the very Word the came forth from the Father and created the Heavens and the Earth. So John looks at Yeshua from the Heavenly perspective of the Eagle! John looks at the big picture, the plan view that the eagle sees, things that cannot be seen from the ground level, things that are not seen in the other gospels related to the ground based creatures.
Ox (West) Yeshua Lion (East)
Mark Throne Matthew
So it would pay to take notice to the gospel of John, taking special note of those things that are mentioned there that are not mentioned in the other gospel accounts. We will thus take special note of the story of the raising of Lazarus, an account which is of prophetic significance and only appears in the book of John. John sees from the Eagle's perspective.
Before we do so let us note another connection to the 4 gospels, and that is the 4 species of plant waved before the Lord to the East, West, North and South. During Sukkot there are three varieties of plant that are held in the right hand, the myrtle, the willow and the palm (Lulav). But there is a fourth that is held in the left hand, a fragrant smelling fruit, the etrog. Thus the etrog, has a connection to the gospel of John, being different from the other 3 species which are held in the other hand. Again this is a topic all on its own but we don't have time to go into all the wonder details and connections here.
Another group of 4 is Jacob's 4 'wives'. Jacob had 2 wives, Lea and Rachel, and two maidservants who also became concubines bearing 2 sons each. So Jacob is surrounded by 4 wives (2 wives & 2 concubines). For brevity I won't go into the details or how they relate for example to the Temple in Ezekiel 40 suffice to say that all these different groups of 4 in scripture speak of the same thing. Indeed any group of four in the bible will connect and map in a similar way.
But at least now you can begin to appreciate that John’s gospel account, like the Eagle that flies above is indeed unique and special. The four gospels are following a pattern. John is a gospel that looks at Yeshua from above, as the Son of God, that is, from the point of view of the eagle. It is like the Etrog, the most fragrant gospel, the most heavenly. It is the gospel of John that speaks so intimately of the comfort of the Holy Spirit. You could say that the gospel of John is the gospel closest to the throne. It is the gospel held closest to the heart of the king.
The Name - 'Lazarus'
So we can now begin to focus on the topic at hand, the Raising from the dead of a man named Lazarus in John chapter 11 and 12, a dear friend of our Lord and Saviour, Yeshua.
Firstly let us look at the name Lazarus. It is not by accident that he has a certain name and the name is mentioned. It has a meaning. This name, 'Lazarus' is not actually a Greek name, it is a Hebrew name that has been transliterated into Greek with a Greek suffix, ‘us’ added at the end of Lazar forming the name Lazarus. If you look at the Strong’s Concordance you will find this definition.
- G2976 ΛάζαροςLazaros lad'-zar-os
Probably of Hebrew origin [H499]; Lazarus (that is, Elazar), the name of two Israelites (one imaginary): - Lazarus.
- H499 אלעזר'el‛âzâr el-aw-zawr'
From H410 and H5826; God (is) helper; Elazar, the name of seven Israelites: - Eleazar.
- H461 אליעזר'ĕlı̂y‛ezer el-ee-eh'-zer
From H410 and H5828; God of help; Eliezer, the name of a Damascene and of ten Israelites: - Eliezer.
Now the main Hebrew Strong’s number is H499, mentioned first. So where else does this name appear? The Exodus! God used the Levites, through Moses and Aaron to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Now Aaron had four sons;
Unfortunately the first two sons died offering strange fire (Leviticus 10:1). So then we were left with Eleazer and Ithamar. Eleazerwas given a leadership position of the priesthood in terms of oversight.
וּפְקֻדַּ֞ת אֶלְעָזָ֣ר בֶּנ־אַהֲרֹ֣ן הַכֹּהֵ֗ן
וְשֶׁ֣מֶן הַמִּשְׁחָ֑ה פְּקֻדַּ֗ת כָּל־הַמִּשְׁכָּן֙ וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר־בֹּ֔ו בְּקֹ֖דֶשׁ וּבְכֵלָֽיו׃
And to the office of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest
- the oil for the light,
- and the sweet incense,
- and the daily meat offering,
- and the anointing oil,
- and the oversight of all the tabernacle,
- and of all that therein is, in the sanctuary, and in the vessels thereof.
But there is an earthly priesthood that bears witness to Yeshua. Infact John the baptist was a priest, his father was from the course of Abijah which is from the actual line of Eleazar! And when the priests are doing their job properly they bear witness to the Messiah for the roll of the priest is to teach Israel the Torah (Law). And we know that the Law leads us to the Messiah.
When the sons of Eleazar are doing their job properly they will bear witness to the Torah and the Torah made flesh, Yeshua, just like John the Baptist. We read in the account of Lazarus that he bears witness to Yeshua after he is raised.
When the priests are walking with the Lord as they should they bring unity to Israel. We may all be familiar with Psalm 133 which focuses on Unity and it's relationship to the oil of God's spirit and Aaron the priest.
In Psalm 133 we read;
שִׁ֥יר הַֽמַּעֲלֹ֗ות לְדָ֫וִ֥ד הִנֵּ֣ה מַה־טֹּוב וּמַה־נָּעִ֑ים שֶׁ֖בֶת אַחִ֣ים גַּמ־יָֽחַד׃
כַּשֶּׁ֤מֶן הַטֹּ֨וב׀ עַל־הָרֹ֗אשׁ יֹרֵ֗ד עַֽל־הַזָּקָ֥ן זְקַֽנ־אַהֲרֹ֑ן שֶׁ֝יֹּרֵ֗ד עַל־פִּ֥י מִדֹּותָֽיו׃
כְּטַל־חֶרְמֹ֗ון שֶׁיֹּרֵד֮ עַל־הַרְרֵ֪י צִ֫יֹּ֥ון כִּ֤י שָׁ֨ם׀ צִוָּ֣ה יְ֭הוָה אֶת־הַבְּרָכָ֑ה חַ֝יִּ֗ים עַד־הָעֹולָֽם׃
Psalms 133:1-3 A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
And there is so much that is prophetic in this Psalm and it is related the ressurection. But what I want to concetrate on is the fact that unity of Israel is determined by the Annointing Oil that flows down Aaron's beard. The Oil of course represents God's Spirit. But the tribe of Levi and the Priesthood of Aaron in particular are the coduits by which Israel is blessed spiritually. Now we know that Lazarus is Eleazar the Leading branch of the Cohenim, the Priests. And in the last days Yeshua will raise them up and they will bear witness of Him! Jewish people have a difficulty seeing Yeshua as the Messiah. Well the sons of Eleazar are going to help. When the ten lost tribes of the House of Israel are joined to the House of Judah, Eleazar will be right in the middle of them bearing witness to Yeshua.
So let us now look at the Gospel Account of Lazarus in John chapter 11 in detail.
(to be continued...)