Too Late? - The Warrior's Journey®

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“So when Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.” (John 11:17) 

Is Jesus ever too late in His responses to our crises or in His answers to our prayers? The story of Lazarus answers this question. 

John notes that Jesus arrived at the home of Lazarus on the fourth day. This is very significant. The rabbis of that time taught that resuscitation after death was possible by a miracle, but only for a period of three days. For, they taught, the spirit of the deceased remained near the body, seeking to reenter it. But on the fourth day, corruption and decay set it. Therefore, on the fourth day the spirit departed to Abraham’s bosom, or Paradise. On the fourth day, nothing short of the resurrection at the last day could bring a person back from the dead (John 11:24). 

Up to this point, all the people whom Jesus had raised from death (e.g. Jairus’ daughter – Mark 5:22-43; the widow’s son – Luke 7:11-17), had been dead for less than a day. The same was true for those raised to life in the ministries of Elijah and Elisha (1 Kings 17:17-24; 2 Kings 4:18-37; 13:20-21). The rabbis would agree that raising them was a possibility, but for not Lazarus. Therefore, when Jesus arrived to help Mary and Martha – after He had delayed responding for two days (John 11:6) – not only was He too late to heal Lazarus. Jesus was too late to raise him from the dead. In Mary and Martha’s minds Jesus had failed them. Nothing but the resurrection would bring Lazarus back. 

But Jesus reminded Martha, “I am the resurrection” (John 11:25). In other words, Jesus is the Almighty. He is the one who runs time and eternity, who executes the Father’s redemptive plan. It is His voice who will call the dead from their graves (5:28-29). Jesus can never be “too late” to save any person or situation. 

No, your situation is not “past saving” or beyond Christ’s power to heal and redeem. Your problems are never “out of Christ’s league.” For Jesus is God Almighty.  


  • Are you entrapped by circumstances that seem impossible to fix?
  • How do they compare to the chances of a decaying man coming back to life? 
  • If Jesus could accomplish the impossible, the unthinkable, and totally unexpected with Lazarus, can’t He do the same with your situation? Nothing is impossible for Jesus. 

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