Why isn't Lazarus my next-door neighbor?
I think you are confusing the 'act' or process of dying with being dead. And the death of the sinner does not produce forgiveness by God. Without an arrangement for forgiveness (Jesus' sacrifice) the sinner would simply stay dead. Thus, when Lazarus was brought back he was still a sinner and destined to eventually die.
Part of the WT's mistake is embodied in their translation of Romans 6:7 -
For the one who has died has been acquitted from his sin (Rom 6:7 rNWT)
The error is the inserted word "his." It does not belong in the text. Romans chapter six is comparing baptism to death. The writer is saying that when a person dies they are no longer subject to the desires that produce sin - because they are dead. "Acquitted," in this context, would more properly be rendered "set free."
I'm not 100% sure it's got anything to do with Jesus. Has it?
As far as I know the wages of sin being death, and having paid for your sin, you should in theory be perfect is an old testament idea, before they'd even come up with the idea of a redeemer who would be killed to pay for the sins of all.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think our fully formed idea of jesus is really there initially. Debate anyone? Maybe @David_Jay would be able to tell us more?
it is all just stories. but to play along, resurrection of Lazarus would not have restored perfection, but just just restored the previous state. better focus on the resurrector:
To give any credence to the story, jesus should have been allowed, with angelic maneuvering and protection, undetectable, to live past 1000 years before being killed. preferably timed to happen in our day. gerontologists would have had a hay day.
Lazarus is of the heavenly class, resurrected to die after Jesus. ( according to wt doctrine )