This post is originally a chapter in my book The Gospel of the Rauschmonstrum.
Now a man from Bethany named Lazarus was sick. His sisters, Mary and Martha, sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” Now, it had been known for some time that Lazarus had been ill, so for Mary and Martha to send word to Jesus on Lazarus’ condition, it was a sign Lazarus was close to death.
When Jesus received this message from Mary and Martha, he said “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Jesus he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago some people who lived there tried to stone you, and yet you want to go back?” (This situation had happened, though Jesus was never in any serious harm.)
Jesus answered them, “Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn’t stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn’t in him.”
After that, he said to them, “Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may awake him out of sleep.”
His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, surely he will wake up.” The disciples thought Jesus spoke of Lazarus’ natural sleep.
So then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
Now, the Rauschmonstrum knew that Lazarus was already dead, because of his omnipresent talents, but he was surprised Jesus spoke in such a way, since the Nazarene could only guess of this. “Sure he knows Lazarus is near death, but there is no need for the Nazarene to ordain his demise before he knows for sure”
Jesus left for Judea. Then the disciple Thomas, who thought it was certain that Jesus would be killed upon arriving in Judea, said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with him.”
“They are going to force me to raise this Lazarus fellow from the dead, aren’t they?” sighed the Rauschmonstrum.
When Jesus arrived in Bethany, he found that Lazarus had been in the tomb four days already. Many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.
Then when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house. Therefore Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now I know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, God’s Son, he who comes into the world.”
When she had said this, she went away, and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, “The Teacher is here, and is calling you.”
When she heard this, she arose quickly, and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met him. Then the crowd that was with her in the house, and were consoling her, upon seeing her rise up quickly, went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”
Therefore when Mary came to where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you would have been here days ago, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the crowd that had come with her weeping as well, he groaned in distress, and was troubled. He said, “Where have you laid him?”
They told him, “Lord, come and see.”
The gathered crowd then said, “See how much affection he had for him!” Some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man from dying?”
The Rauschmonstrum was annoyed by the behavior of Lazarus’ sisters, feeling as though they were manipulating Jesus into raising their brother from their dead, through making him feel guilty. It was not as though Jesus had any obligation to raise Lazarus up. Death was as natural a thing as there ever was, and even if Lazarus were to be raised, the time would come when he would die again.
However, the Rauschmonstrum knew that regardless, Lazarus would now need to be raised from the dead, or else Jesus’ credibility would be damaged.
“At least,” thought the Rauschmonstrum “this will be a miracle to be rooted in gravitas, unlike that water into wine trick I let the Nazarene perform toward the beginning.”
Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha said to him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see God’s glory?”
So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, “Father, I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around me, I asked that you do this, that they may believe that you sent me.” After he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
And so, through the power of the Rauschmonstrum, Lazarus came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face wrapped with a cloth.
Jesus said to the crowd, “Free him, and let him go.”
The people around did as Jesus asked, and Lazarus walked away with his sisters.
“If this does not give the Nazarene a large following, nothing will” thought the Rauschmonstrum.