Four Days Already John 11:1-17 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The death of Lazarus and the 4 days that he spent in the grave are a metaphor concerning the Lord’s dealing with Israel. To understand this we must look at the millennia throughout the history of man and some patterns we see in the Bible. When we study 2 Peter 3:8, 3:4-5, Gen 1, and Heb 4:5-8, we find that the days of creation set a pattern for the history of the earth.
If we follow Bishop Ussher’s chronological timetable, then Adam was created in approximately 4,004 B.C. According to 2 Pet 3:8, one day is as 1,000 years and vice versa. So, from 4,000 B.C. to 3,000 B.C. is equivalent to 1 day, the first day of creation. 3,000 B.C. to 2,000 B.C. equates to the second day of creation and so on. We have a parallel between the days of creation in Genesis and the millennial procession of the history of the Earth.
In this context we are currently at the very end of the sixth day of creation. Since the Millennial Reign of Christ (Rev 20:6) is to be the seventh day (the day of rest, Gen 2:1-3) in the pattern of the days of creation then we should be expecting the return of Jesus Christ to be very, very near. (Psalm 19:5, Malachi 4:2).
By making these connections we see some interesting parallels. On the fourth day of creation in Genesis the Sun and Moon were made. At the end of the fourth millennium of Bishop Ussher’s chronology, Jesus (typified by the Sun) is born into flesh and the Church (typified by the Moon) is born, beginning the Church Age. On the sixth day of creation Man was created and so it appears that at the end of the sixth millennium the man of sin (the antichrist) will be revealed, just before the second coming of Jesus Christ (Rev. 13:18, 2 Thess. 2:3-4).
Luke 13:6-10 contains the parable of the fruitless fig tree which had cumbered the ground for three years and was given one more year to produce fruit after digging about it and dunging it. If it was still fruitless then it was to be cut down. This parable illustrates the break between the Old Testament and the New Testament after 4,000 years of history. For the first 3,000 years of the existence of mankind, man did what was right in his own eyes. He was self-righteous. Adam and Eve tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves and so the fruitless fig tree is a picture of self-righteousness. (Gen. 3, Habakkuk 2:4, Job 27:6). For the first 4,000 years (or 4 days) self-righteousness produced no fruit of the Spirit. Spiritual fruit is a product of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22, Matt. 21:19, John 15:6). So, the tree had to be cut down.
Now we turn to the physical resurrection of Lazarus, who was a Jew, at the end of the fourth day. His resurrection is a picture of the physical resurrection of the nation of Israel at the second coming of The Lord Jesus Christ (Ezek. 37:12). If we go back in history four days (or 4,000 years) from now, we are at approximately 2,000 B.C. That’s about the time that Abraham was born. The nation of Israel began in Abraham. From Abraham to Jesus Christ is 2,000 years, or the two days that Jesus waited to go and see Lazarus after receiving the news of his sickness (John 11:6, 11:17). The period from Jesus Christ’s first coming in the flesh to His second coming is another 2,000 years. Taken together these two periods equal 4,000 years which s represented by the four days that Lazarus laid in the grave. Jesus called Lazarus back to life after 4 days, which is what Jesus will do to the nation of Israel at His second coming (Hosea 2:1-2, 6:2, Romans 11:25-26).