One of the most amazing stories in the Bible is when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. To have the audacity to stand before a grave, with an audience where everyone knew the man was dead, and command him to rise from the dead is no little thing. A failure from Jesus at this miracle would have been catastrophic. Imagine if he had commanded Lazarus, and Lazarus did not rise? I mean why even try to raise the dead.
But Jesus’ purpose extended beyond even this event. He was revealing to his followers, the crowds, and even his enemies that he had authority over death. Jesus claimed, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Not only did Jesus make this claim for Lazarus’ resurrection, but more importantly, his own. The resurrection of Lazarus caused many to believe in Jesus, which is not surprising.
But not all believed. Lazarus’ resurrection caused many religious leaders to hate Jesus even more. Because people were following Jesus, he represented a loss of power, influence, and control for the religious leaders. They plotted not only to kill Jesus, but also Lazarus (John 12:10-11). How upset do you have to be to plot the murder of someone raised from the dead and someone who could raise the dead? They couldn’t stand the miracle.
But they are not alone. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day are representative of many in our day. Atheists and evolutionists reject the miracle of creation. Muslims reject the miracle of the incarnation and Jesus’ deity. Others simply reject the possibility of the miraculous because they can’t rationalize it.
But the issue is not really one of evidence or argument. It is ultimately an issue of authority. You see if there is a God who created everything, who came in human flesh, who died for the sins of the world, and who holds power over death, then that God has authority. We will have to answer to him. We are accountable to him. What it means when people can’t stand a miracle is that they don’t want to answer to the one who can do the miracle.