The Lord’s shout to an entombed Lazarus was a signpost of the last day when He will shout again:
I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
For a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice.
The Lord’s word to the disciples that Lazarus was asleep is more than a figure of speech. According to the New Testament, Christians will never taste real death.
I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.
Whoever lives and believes in me will never die.
The sting of death has been removed from the believer.
So we do not die; we merely sleep. And Jesus will wake us up at the resurrection:
After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
Then he [Stephen] fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.
That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.
But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.