The Death of Lazarus

Watch on YouTube/read the Bible story online

John 11: 1-45


Sometimes the “where” and the “when” can be confusing in John’s gospel. At the end of the previous chapter, Jesus is in Bethany, but now he has to travel to get to Bethany. Mary is introduced to us as the one who anointed Jesus with perfume, but that doesn’t happen until the next chapter! (“Messiah” and “Christ” mean ‘anointed’.) Presumably the first people to hear this gospel already knew some of the stories.

Jesus loved Lazarus, Mary and Martha. Later in the gospel we hear about “the disciple Jesus loved”. Most people think this is probably John — but could it be Lazarus?

Maybe Jesus waits so it is his decision when to travel. He risks his life returning to Judaea (the area around Jerusalem). “The Jews” can mean “the Judaeans” — after all, everyone in this story was a Jew!

Martha knows that her brother will rise again “on the last day”: this is what the Pharisees believed. Jesus shows her that God’s new life is also available now.

Jesus says a few things in John’s gospel which start with “I am”. They echo the story of God speaking to Moses when Moses asks God’s name and the reply is “I am who I will be”.


Icebreaker/quickbuild  Make an object – we will tell you what you have to create and give you five minutes to work on it!
Story/home Make your way into church. We will read the first prayer (laminated sheets) and listen to the story.

Refreshments are served!
/lazarus-death You have 20 minutes or so to build something in response to the story, either on your own, or team up with others.  Some ideas:
·         ·         Make a path with obstacles (e.g. traps, holes) that would be hard to walk along at night
·         Create the scene with a crowd comforting Mary and Martha, as they tell off Jesus for not arriving in time
·         Create the scene where Jesus opens the tomb, which everyone thinks will be smelly, and Lazarus walks out
·         Write your own prayers on a prayer tree (label the apples with prayers)
If you don’t fancy building you can go back to the home village (/home) and read the story again in the church, or read some of the other stories in the library, or you might want to just explore the world, or work on your house.
WonderWhile you are creating, think about these questions with the adults on your table.
I Wonder: 
·         which part of this story you like the best?
·         what part is the most important?
·         where you are in this story or what part of the story is about you?
·         if there is any part of this story we can leave out and still have all the story we need?
There are many other things that can make us WONDER – what are you thinking about?
Final Prayer/home Back to the church for our final prayer (laminated sheet)
Dance/home We’ll put some music on and let your Minecraft characters dance about using jumping or emotes!
GamesFree play while the adults tidy up!!