Dead is Dead
Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. 43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. (John 11:40-44)
Raising people from the dead is not something you see every day. I know we have medical technology that can resuscitate someone if the doctors get there quickly. But with all of our technology, there is no way to do that after four days! Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead proved without a doubt that He was sent by God and had the power of God over life and death. With nothing more than the word from His mouth, a dead man came alive.
So, what did Lazarus have to do? What a silly question. Lazarus couldn't do anything to help because he was dead. Dead is dead and there is nothing a dead man can do to help himself. Help must come from outside or the dead remain dead.
Man, separated from the Creator and fallen into sin, is spiritually dead. Like a Zombie or "dead man walking" it is only a matter of time before the flesh falls away and the spiritual condition is revealed. They may walk and talk, but there is a death sentence already pronounced against sin and the sentence will eventually be carried out. "Dead men on parole" is a good way of describing the condition of spiritually dead mankind. Running around, all hustle and bustle, do this do that, succeed or fail, fame or obscurity, wealth or poverty, but in the end - dead is dead.
So, how can the spiritually dead raise themselves to life? They can't. The spiritually dead can no more bring themselves to spiritual life than a physically dead body can reanimate itself. There has to be help from outside or it will never happen.
Spiritual life is something God places in us. The regeneration of the soul must come about by the planting of a seed of life in us which then grows into the spiritual life. In other words, we must be born from above. So, dead is dead and the dead remain dead - unless the spirit of Christ comes to dwell in them. There is no other way but by His gift of life to us. That is why it is called grace.
In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:4-5)