Lazarus Speaks (revised version)
Narrator: Let’s meet this Lazarus character shall we and see what we can learn about him?
You all know me! The name’s Lazarus and I’m here this morning to tell you that I’m sick of the countless people still coming to our house, banging on our door every minute of the day, just to prove to themselves that I’m really alive. You’re all at it! When I come to the door you just stand there and stare at me and ask me lots of questions, and all the while my dinner’s getting cold.
So let me tell you my story, once and for all then hopefully my sisters and I can be left in peace to get on with our lives.
· Because of me Jesus put his mission on hold to come all the way here to Bethany. They got word to him that I was seriously ill. . . I knew he’d come. Mind you I didn’t think he would leave it quite as late as he did! They say I’d died and had been in the tomb for four days by the time he got here.
· Because of me he put his own life in danger by coming. You all know there were those who were prepared to stone him for breaking the law about the Sabbath! But he ignored the warnings and came.
· Because of me Jesus wept! They told me later that he’d got really upset, that he’d shouted out and called me by my name, while I was still in the tomb! All I remember was this massive intake of breath, and someone calling my name, and when I sat up it was all dark! I was covered in a shroud, I could hardly breathe, and I didn’t know where I was! Then there was a bright light, and they set me free, that’s when I saw the look of shock on everybody’s faces.
· Because of me many began to believe in Jesus from then on, but there were others, they must have been spies, who went scurrying off into the city to report what had happened to the elders.
· Because of me those people in power, having heard what happened, now felt really threatened.
· Because of me and this miracle, the crowds went wild with excitement, when Jesus later rode into Jerusalem. They yelled “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”. They greeted him like royalty, laying their cloaks out before him, waving palms like he was some conquering hero.
That’s when they, our leaders, decided they had to get rid of him, and put him to death, but you see now we know death couldn’t keep hold of him either!
Haven’t you all heard that Jesus himself is risen from the dead!
· Because of him, I’m alive! I’m here to tell the tale
· Because of him, I’m not afraid any more!
· Because of him I can face anything now!
· Because HE lives, and was also raised from the dead, this validates every word he uttered.“ I am the Resurrection!” he said. “I am the Life! If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live. ..and whoever lives and believes in me will never die! DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?” he said.
Well I most certainly do! Who else would I ever want to follow, but Jesus?
He alone has the words of eternal life! He alone is LORD! . . .
NOW . . . will you stop knocking at my door?
Or enrol four or five people to read the Gospel story out below, with or without mime, reading from the New International Version
Bible Reading: John 11. 17-45
On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”
After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.”
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.