Raising Lazarus from the Dead

Robert Ingersoll was a rather infamous unbeliever in the 19th century. (By the way, he had some Illinois connections, as a lawyer for a few years in Peoria.) He made speaking tours, charging a rather tidy sum, seeking to reveal what he thought was the foolishness of the Christian message. But even Ingersoll himself told of a time he was effectively silenced. "I was lecturing," he recalled, "and trying to show that the resurrection of Lazarus was probably a planned affair, to bolster the waning fortunes of Jesus. Lazarus was to take sick and ‘die.’ The girls were to bury him and send for Jesus. Lazarus was to feign death until Jesus should come and say, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ To emphasize the situation," Ingersoll continued, "I said, ‘Can anyone tell me why Jesus said, Lazarus, come forth?’ Down by the door a little man arose and answered: ‘Yes, I can tell you. If my Lord had not said, Lazarus, he would have had the whole graveyard of Bethany coming out to him’"

(quoted from Portals of Prayer, 10-12/81).

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