Text: John 11:1-57, Daniel 12:2-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14
John’s Gospel invites readers to “come and see”—not just to hear Christ’s words, but to engage with Him, to “come and see” who Christ is. This was the way of Christ Himself. When His followers had questions, when they were troubled about the world, Christ invited them to come and see the answer: Him.
What is the answer to sin, death and darkness? Christ. Won’t you come and see?
The phrase “come and see” appears four times in the Gospel of John, and the pattern that appears is this: when we see Christ and what He has to offer, we see life, but when we see what man offers, we see death.
“Come and you’ll see,” He replied. So they went and saw where He was staying, and they stayed with Him that day. It was about 10 in the morning (John 1:39).
“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael asked him. “Come and see,” Philip answered (John 1:46).
“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could this be the Messiah?” (John 4:29).
In all three instances above, we are invited to “come and see” Christ as the Messiah, to see what He is doing. In contrast, when we focus on what we see in the world, all we’ll find is death and darkness.
In John 11:34, Jesus asks after his friend Lazarus, saying, “Where have you put him?” “Lord,” they tell Him, “come and see.” But this “come and see” doesn’t point to Christ; instead it points to death.
Death is all this world has to offer. The only solution to sin and darkness is Christ Jesus. When Christ bids us “come and see,” He shows us life. When the world bids us “come and see,” we find a man laid in a tomb. We find death.
The next verse, verse 35, tells us that “Jesus wept” for his friend Lazarus. Death has struck a blow, and Jesus weeps to see sin and its consequences in a fallen world. But His tears are not an indication of defeat. Instead, there at Lazarus’s tomb, Christ wages war on death, arresting the powers of death and decay, and reversing them.
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?”
- John 11:25-26
The raising of Lazarus from the dead is a foreshadowing of Christ’s work on the cross, which will come just a short time later (John 19-21). Defeating death once and for all, Jesus Himself is raised from the dead. This time, it is Mary Magdalene who weeps, while looking for the body of her Lord. Jesus asks what she is seeking, then simply calls her by name: “Mary” (John 20:16). He’s calling us too (Isaiah 43:1).
We have seen who Christ is. The light has come. “Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:4). The invitation is no longer just to “come and see,” but to follow Him, to walk with Him (John 8:12). Now that we have seen the light, we are called to abide in it and bear witness to its power and goodness.
Behold Christ, the light of life. Love Him. Walk with Him.