One day as Jesus and the twelve were in the silence in a home in Araba a messenger came and said. Lord, Jesus, hear! your friend in Bethany is sick, nigh unto death: his sisters urge that you arise and come in haste. Then turning to the twelve the master said, Lo, Lazarus has gone to sleep, and I must go and waken him. And his disciples said, What need to go if he has gone to sleep; he will awaken by and by. Then Jesus said, It is the sleep of death; for Lazarus is dead. But Jesus did not haste to go; he stayed two days in Araba; and then he said, The hour has come and we must go to Bethany. But his disciples urged him not to go; they said, The Jews are waiting your return that they may take your life. And Jesus said, Men cannot take my life till I have handed unto them my life. And when the time shall come I will myself lay down my life; that time is near, and God knows best; I must arise and go. And Thomas said, Then we will also go; yes, we will offer up our lives and die with him. And they arose and went. (Aquarian Gospel 148:1-10)
But Jesus did not haste to go; he stayed two days in Araba; and then he said, The hour has come and we must go to Bethany. Times, like plants, often need to ripen before action is taken. This is for so many reasons that I dare not speculate as to what they might have been in this instance. Often it is to let the people involved come to a stabilized condition or for their inmost attitudes to manifest. Furthermore, the world is a living entity, a field of consciousness in which there are many tides that affect all things and events. This is what astrology is all about, for example.
And Jesus said, Men cannot take my life till I have handed unto them my life. And when the time shall come I will myself lay down my life. “Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin” (John 19:10, 11). This is true of all of us. Only that which is in the divine plan can come about. Karma is created and manifests according to precise, unalterable laws. Therefore we should not fear or doubt. But that is not so easy to manage.
Now, Mary, Martha, Ruth and many friends were weeping in their home when one approached and said, The Lord has come; but Mary did not hear the words. But Ruth and Martha heard, and they arose and went to meet the Lord; he waited at the village gate. And when they met the master Martha said, You are too late, for Lazarus is dead; if you had only been with us I know that he would not have died. But even now I know that you have power over death; that by the sacred Word you may cause life to rise from death. And Jesus said, Behold, for Lazarus shall live again. And Martha said, I know that he will rise and live again when all the dead shall rise. And Jesus said, I am the resurrection and the life; he who has faith in me, though he be dead, yet shall he live; and he who is alive, and has a living faith in me, shall never die. Do you believe what I have said? And Martha said, Lord, I believe that you are come to manifest the Christ of God.
Then Jesus said, Go back and call aside your sister, and my mother and the prophetess and say that I have come; and I will stay here by the gate till they have come to me. And Ruth and Martha did as Jesus bade them do, and in a little while the Marys and the prophetess had met the Lord. And Mary said, Why did you tarry thus? If you had been with us our brother, dear, would not have died. (Aquarian Gospel 148:11-22)
Martha said, You are too late, for Lazarus is dead; if you had only been with us I know that he would not have died. But even now I know that you have power over death; that by the sacred Word you may cause life to rise from death. Such is the faith of Martha, rooted in knowledge of the power of Jesus and of the Word when invoked by him.
And Martha said, Lord, I believe that you are come to manifest the Christ of God. Here again we find the right perspective regarding Jesus. He is not the Christ, but manifests the Christ. And that is exactly what a Christian is, and what each Christian must aspire to be.
Then Jesus went up to the house and when he saw the heavy grief of all, he was himself stirred up with grief, and said, Where is the tomb in which he lies? They said, Lord, come and see. And Jesus wept. The people said, Behold how Jesus loved this man! And others said, Could not this Lord, who opened up the eyes of one born blind, have saved this man from death?
But soon the mourners stood beside the tomb, a sepulchre hewn out of solid rock; a massive stone closed up the door. And Jesus said, Take you away the stone. But Martha said, Lord, is it well? Behold our brother has been dead four days; the body must be in decay, and is it well that we should see it now? The Lord replied, Have you forgotten, Martha, what I said while we were at the village gate? Did I not say that you should see the glory of the Lord?
And then they rolled the stone away; the flesh had not decayed; and Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, My Father-God, thou who hast ever heard my prayers, I thank thee now, and that these multitudes may know that thou hast sent me forth, that I am thine and thou art mine, make strong the Word of power. And then he spoke the Word, and in a voice that souls can comprehend, he said, O Lazarus, awake!
And Lazarus arose and came out of the tomb. The grave clothes were about him fast, and Jesus said, Loose him and let him go. (Aquarian Gospel 148:23-35)
And then they rolled the stone away; the flesh had not decayed. The inner bodies of Lazarus had not separated from his physical body, because it was his destiny to be recalled by Jesus. That is why Jesus earlier told the disciples: “Lazarus has gone to sleep.” But when Lazarus heard the Word and the empowered voice of Jesus, he lived, and so will we live if we immerse ourselves in continual invocation of the Word.
The people were amazed and multitudes confessed their faith in him. And some went to Jerusalem and told the Pharisees about this resurrection of the dead. The chief priests were confounded, and they said, What shall we do? This man is doing many mighty deeds, and if we do not stay him in his work, all men will look on him as king, and through the Romans he may take the throne, and we will lose our place and power. And then the chief priests and the Pharisees in council met and sought a plan by which they might put him to death. (Aquarian Gospel 148:36-39)
What a reaction! Knowing Jesus could raise the dead, they were yet so blinded by their egos that instead of awe they just felt hatred for someone they considered a rival, a threat. This is one of the reasons why great teachers often stay invisible to the public. Deluded people react in a completely irrational manner. Sincere people continually pestered the Masters who were directing Blavatsky and the Theosophical Society to come out in public, show themselves and demonstrate their astonishing powers based on their vast wisdom. Always they resisted, knowing that if they did so it would only arouse the wrath of the ignorant, the bigoted and the religionists that would, like the priests in this passage, look upon them as dangerous rivals and devil worshippers.
Caiaphas was the high priest then, and he came forth and said, You men of Israel, do you not know the law? Do you not know that in such times as these we may give up one life to save our nation and our laws? Caiaphas did not know that he was prophet, speaking out the words of truth. He did not know the time had come for Jesus to be offered up a sacrifice for every man, for Jew and Greek, and all the world. From that day forth the Jews conferred together every day, maturing plans to put the Lord to death. Now, Jesus and the twelve did not remain in Bethany; but in the hills of Ephraim, upon the borders of Samaria, they found a home, and there abode for many days. (Aquarian Gospel 148:40-45)
Caiaphas was the high priest then, and he came forth and said, You men of Israel, do you not know the law? Do you not know that in such times as these we may give up one life to save our nation and our laws? What law did he find this in? In the American South there are quite a few sayings that are confidently cited as being from the Bible. One such is: “Every tub must stand on its own bottom.” (I knew a woman who would quote this as holy scripture.) They are called Chimney Corner Scripture by those that know better. One time a man I knew very well said: “As the Good Book says, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.’” And his wife asked: “What ‘good book’ was that, Charlie? Your third-grade reader?” He was most annoyed.
The time had come for Jesus to be offered up a sacrifice for every man, for Jew and Greek, and all the world. Although the standard doctrine of the Atonement is an error, it is true that Jesus was a kind of sacrifice for the upliftment of humanity and the earth itself. Or rather, he was an Offering of Love for the whole world, and remains so today. There is a very complex background to this which includes his own karmic destiny determined in previous lives.
Undaunted, Jesus continued his ministry, knowing all that was to happen in the great plan of God.