Jesus cried when Lazarus died

Lazarus raised from the dead Sunday School lesson



If I’ve got this all in order right the Mary, Martha, and Lazarus story is the last Bible lesson to teach before heading into Easter with my Sunday School class.  We learned about Jesus healing the man at the pool, and now we’re going to learn about Jesus’ friendship with people who aren’t his disciples.

Are you a Mary or a Martha?

Are you a Mary or a Martha

When Jesus visited their home Mary sat and listened to Jesus, while Martha was busy doing things for Jesus.  Do you sit and be with a person or are you busy doing stuff for the person?

I’ll admit I’m a Martha.  I like to do, I like to be busy.  I’m not good at just sitting and being with someone.  It’s a common complaint from my friends because I just don’t focus well.  I have to be doing two things at once.

When you read the story of Mary and Martha, you’ll notice Jesus doesn’t tell Martha what she’s doing is wrong.  Because it isn’t; it isn’t wrong to serve others.  But, it is wrong to put doing stuff for others over the actual person.

How should Christians grieve?  Look at the death of Lazarus

Jesus cried when Lazarus died

Jesus cried when Lazarus died.

I’ve dealt with a lot of grief.  Sometimes when your friend or a family member has died people feel the need to say “They’re in a better place now” as if that makes it okay, and you shouldn’t be crying.

I’ve even run into one or two Christians who think you shouldn’t grieve because you’ll see them again in heaven.

Look at Jesus’ response.  He cried.  He knew what was about to happen.  Jesus knew Lazarus was coming back to life in a few minutes, but He still cried.  He grieved with his friends.

So yes, feel sad when your friend dies because they are not there with you.  There is some joy because you know where they are, but there is still sadness, and it’s okay to grieve and be sad.

Lazarus activities

There’s not really a lot to do with the first part of this story.  I don’t think my kids would enjoy sitting around and cleaning for Martha, so we skipped straight to Lazarus’ resurrection.

Lazarus relay race

This is the version I’ll be doing with my Sunday School class.  A Lazarus relay race wrapping a volunteer in toilet paper as grave clothes.  We did this Lazarus race a few years ago at a VBS (notice how little my kids are, Princess lived in that dress when she was younger).

But, for just my kids, we did a different version.  I gathered some fabric I’d torn into bandages for a Good Samaritan game, and they each got a stuffed animal.

Lazarus Sunday School game

Then they had to wrap the animal up in his grave clothes.  They thoroughly enjoyed it, but discovered the moose was a little hard to wrap.

story of Lazarus mapwork

Then we did a bit of map work for the lesson.  I was doing it from memory, and I’d had Jesus up in Galilee when he gets the news of Lazarus’ sickness, but when I reread the story he’s actually down in Judea somewhere.  So I’m partially posting this to emphasize checking your facts as you’re teaching the lesson, and that everyone makes mistakes, even us super awesome rock star amazing bloggers (you did catch the sarcasm in that, right?  Wouldn’t it be awesome if they made a sarcasm font?).

Resurrection of Lazarus mapwork

We did one last activity with this lesson, learning how to read a map key is a very useful geography skill for kids to learn, so we used the key on our map to find where in particular the story happened and the reference in the Bible (our map is the Ministry of Jesus map from Wondermaps (affiliate link))

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus resources

I always try to time our Gospel lessons so we end with Lazarus’ death and head straight into our Easter devotional, but if you want to go straight to the next lesson that would be the Road to Ammaeus.


6 responses to “Lazarus raised from the dead Sunday School lesson”

  1. That must have been a very popular lesson with kids. I am certainly a Mary 🙂

    1. It really was. I’d forgotten how much fun that lesson is.

  2. I really struggle with that Mary-Martha story, although I think I have both Mary and Martha traits.

    1. It’s a hard story at times for me too.

  3. I don’t think I’ve asked you this before, but I’ve often wondered – do you do all the drawings yourself? If you do, you are very talented!
    Great lesson as always!

    1. Yes I do. I taught myself how as I’ve worked on these. The older pictures were revised once I started formalizing what I wanted to do.

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