After saying these things, he said to them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him." The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover." Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him." So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."
Some take these verses and think that Jesus is speaking about an idea that many call "soul sleep".. the concept that people simply fall asleep after they die until they are woke for judgment in heaven. I do not think that Jesus is speaking about that. Yet I do think that there is a difference between Lazarus returning from the dead and Jesus being resurrected from the dead. Lazarus came back in the same body while Jesus returned in a different one. Even so it is a mystery to me. I wonder what Lazarus reported of his experience.
All that said I do wonder, in light of Thomas' response, if the Lord Jesus had really gotten through to his disciples. I doubt that any of them had a clue of what was going to take place in Bethany. When he spoke of being glad for their sake that he was not there they probably thought that it had something to do with the Jews wanting to kill Jesus. I can only imagine their reactions when they arrived at Bethany and saw the grief on the faces of Lazarus' sisters. They like the sisters could not imagine that a miracle was moments away.
Help me Lord to remember that a miracle may be just moments away.