Immediately after telling us of Jesus’ anointing with the oil of Spikenard, John tells us — having mentioned that Lazarus was present at this event — that the Jews were concerned about how this might play out …
Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.
But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also,
because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
[John 12:9-11 NKJV]
A plot to kill Lazarus seemed to them to be the best way to stop many Jews deciding to follow Jesus. Would others be deterred from believing in Jesus knowing that Lazarus had been killed? Those who plotted were obviously fearful that this Jesus was who He said He was and would sweep away all they stood for, thus destroying their cherished beliefs.
The reality is that Jesus is The Truth, and The Truth destroys any untruth as light banishes darkness. What is especially interesting about this brief interlude in John 12 — and John obviously tells it for a reason — is that we never learn if the plot succeeded or not, which I believe is the point.
In Revelation 20:6 we read this … Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Lazarus was raised to new life by the Son of God — and thus is one who has part in the first resurrection, and so the second death has no power over him. What is the second death? It is reserved for “… the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” [Revelation 21:8 NKJV]
Those who have been touched by Jesus and walk with Him, allowing The Holy Spirit to guide them need have no fear.
Wherever we trust in goodness or nobility instead of in God, we suddenly find ourselves in a howling waste wilderness. The attitude of a godly life is to put no confidence in anything or anyone but God.
[from ‘Notes on Jeremiah’]
‘Be Lifted Up’ — The Mandate (featuring Stuart Townend)