Lazarus’ story always intrigues me. As a follower of Christ, my belief in him grows stronger as I remember he was able to bring Lazarus back to life. However, some parts of the story have left me with questions. One of them that has had me doing a lot of research is; did Lazarus go to Heaven?
The scripture does not specify whether Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, went to Heaven. Jesus implies that for four days, Lazarus was asleep. Therefore, where John was for the four days needs to be clarified. In John 11:1-44, we get to read about Lazarus’ story, which does not reveal his experience between death and resurrection.
In this article, I answer questions such as whether the Bible mention that Lazarus went to Heaven, Where Lazarus was between his death and when Jesus resurrected him, What Lazarus experienced in Heaven when he died, and many more questions. Read on and get to find out answers to these and more.
Does the Bible mention that Lazarus went to Heaven?
The Bible does not mention that Lazarus went to Heaven. Unfortunately, the scripture on what happened to Lazarus from his death until Jesus resurrected him is unclear. From what Jesus said, Lazarus had been sleeping. John 11:11 Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep.
Followers of the Word often confuse Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, with Lazarus from the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. In the parable, Lazarus went to Heaven, whereas the rich man went to hell. Jesus used parables to give certain teachings. However, the participants were not real. The two Lazarus are different. Therefore, Lazarus’s destination from the parable was mentioned, but that of Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, needed to be mentioned.
Where was Lazarus between his death and when Jesus resurrected him?
It is not clear where Lazarus was after his death. Jesus mentions that he was asleep and mentions nothing further. There are Christians who believe that Lazarus went to Heaven, but there are no verses that prove that. Furthermore, there were only four days between Lazarus’ death and resurrection, which may not give space for different events.
When Jesus wanted to see Lazarus, his family took Jesus to his tomb. Following his death, they lay Lazarus in a tomb inside a cave. The dead may not comprehend the events that follow death; hence, Lazarus does not mention where he was from.
What did Lazarus experience in Heaven when he died?
The scripture does not reveal what happened to Lazarus following his death. There are insinuations that he went to Heaven, which is yet to be proven. One thing is clear, Jesus was certain that Lazarus would rise again; in John 11:23, Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Had Lazarus gone to Heaven, Jesus would have told his followers that Lazarus would descend from Heaven.
John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? In this verse, Jesus talks of how his believers may not experience death. As seen in John 11:11, Jesus refers to death as sleep.
Did Jesus confirm that Lazarus went to Heaven when he died?
Jesus did not speak on whether Lazarus went to Heaven after his death. However, he mentions that Lazarus was not dead but was asleep John 11:11. When Jesus informs his disciples of what had occurred to Lazarus, he explains the intent behind Lazarus’ illness.
John 11:4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, “This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the son of God may be glorified using it.” From the scripture, Jesus implies Lazarus’ death as a fulfillment to show God’s strength to resurrect the dead.
Jesus knew the result that Lazarus would come back to life, which explains his delay in visiting his friend. It also shows us, through Lazarus’ death and resurrection, how believers of Christ will resurrect at the end.
How can we be certain that Lazarus went to Heaven when he died?
No scripture in the Bible reveals that Lazarus did indeed go to Heaven. Most Christians assume that since Lazarus was Jesus’ acquaintance, he automatically went to Heaven. However, the scripture does not clarify where Lazarus went after his death and before his resurrection. In John 11:11, Jesus informs his followers that Lazarus was asleep and, in verse 14, clarifies that he is dead. Had Lazarus been to Heaven, Jesus would have told his followers. Therefore, we cannot be certain that he was in Heaven.
What happened to Lazarus when he died the second time?
The scripture is not clear on what transpired after Lazarus’ second death. We get to learn of the planned execution of Lazarus’ second death in John 12:10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to death because, on account of him, many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. No other verses ascertain the chief priests executed what they had intended to do to Lazarus.
From the mentioned verse, we learn of the chief priests’ intentions to end Lazarus’ life as he was proof of Jesus’ power to raise the dead. However, based on Jesus’ preaching implies that those who believe in His Word will be in paradise with him. He promises that they will be in a good place.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.