Charles F. (Charles Force) Deems.

Who was Jesus? online

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it was not impracticable, and with a handkerchief tied about
his head. So thorough was the restoration that he needed no aid
to obey the command of Jesus, but walked forth into the pre-
sence of the assembly. Jesus simply said, " Loose him, and let
him go." That is, take away whatever encumbers him and let
him go home.

One cannot fail to notice the absence of all parade, and mum-
bling and incantation, as if this were the work of a magician.
The history is beautiful on the side of the human passions, and
sublime on the side of the simple exercise of power in doing
what only God has always been supposed to be capable of per-
forming. There is no indulgence of curiosity, no telling of tales
brought back from the prison-house of the sepulchre, no marvels,
no self-gratulation upon the part of Jesus, no sense of exhaustion,
as if he had poured vital force from himself into his dead
friend. The veil is dropped over any conversation Jesus might
have had with his dear friend, and the most delicate silence
preserved as to the display of feeling upon the part of Lazarus
and his sisters at his restoration, and any loving thanks they may
have heaped upon their benefactor. Even tradition does not
venture upon repeating to us anything Lazarus may have been
represented as saying of his sensations in dying, his experience of
being dead, and his emotion upon the return of the soul to its
seat in the body, and the reattachment of the cords of life which
had been snapped. Tradition only tells us that Lazarus asked
Jesus if he should die again, and when informed that there still
lay before him the inevitable fate of humanity, he never smiled
again. But there is no foundation for that. It is the unnatural
fancy of some gloomy mind.



JESUS ON HIS LAST CIRCUIT. 505

History tells us nothing more of Lazarus. In the beginning of
the seeond century many of those whom Jesus had both healed
and raised from the dead were still alive, according to Quadratus
in Eusebius (//. E., iv. 3). From this great miracle the village
of Bethany took the name of Lazarus, and to this day is called
El-Azariyeh or Lazariyeh.

Of the Jews who witnessed the miracle there were two classes,
those whom this proof of Messiahship won to Jesus, and those who,
overwhelmed for a season by this display of power,
which seemed to be omnipotence, nevertheless
had no intellectual or spiritual good from the spectacle, but went
home chatting about it, or went to the priestly party repeating
it, and asking them what they thought about it. Whether in mere
gossip or through hostility, these people told the Pharisees what
Jesus had done.

The Sanhedrim was forthwith assembled to consider the state
of affairs. Early in his public career the Jews of Jerusalem
had sought to kill Jesus as a Sabbath-breaker
(John v. 16, 18). Subsequently, in Galilee, the a J e h ^^ hedrini
Pharisees had conspired with the Herod ians to
destroy him (Mark iii. 6). The Sanhedrim had gone so far as to
decree excommunication of any one who should confess Jesus
as the Messiah (John ix. 22). Officers had once been sent to
arrest him (John vii. 25), and the people generally believed that
the party in power would never rest until Jesus should be put out
of the way. Nevertheless the Sanhedrim had never formally
decreed his death. But this raisinc; of Lazarus brought matters
to a head.

When the council assembled, the first thing apparent to them

all was their utter helplessness, so feeble is political power when

opposed to moral force. The unarmed Jesus,

having no authority— civil, military, or ecclesias- They ad



Online LibraryCharles F. (Charles Force) DeemsWho was Jesus? → online text (page 51 of 77)