*He said this, and then told them, “Our friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him.” So the disciples said to him, “Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.” But Jesus was talking about his death, while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep. So then Jesus said to them clearly, “Lazarus has died." (John 11:11-14) *
Going back to the book of Daniel (12), human death is often called sleep as a comforting metaphor.
This is because dead bodies initially look like sleeping bodies and are similarly quiescent.
Also, what is hideous and fearsome about human death – it’s finality and duration – were of no consequence when our LORD was physically around, as HE could easily raise the bodies.
Note also that this was not a “raising from the dead” ie a resurrectional body, or pneumatikon soma. She was restored to her original body and life, to one day die again – a resuscitiation, not a resurrection.
Ver. 24. The girl is not dead. Christ, by saying so, insinuated that she was not dead in such a manner as they imagined; that is, so as to remain dead, but presently to return to life, as if she had been only asleep. (Witham) — But sleepeth. In the xi. chapter of St. John, Christ again calls death a sleep. Our friend Lazarus sleepeth. Thus he teaches us to be no longer in dread of death, since it was reduced to the condition of a sleep. If you believe this, why do you vainly weep? why do you afflict yourself? this the Gentiles do, who have not faith. Your child is asleep, not dead, is gone to a place of rest, not to destruction. Therefore the royal prophet says, “Turn, O my soul, into thy rest, for the Lord hath been bountiful to thee.” (Psalm cxiv.) If then it is a kindness, why should you weep? what else could you do at the death of an adversary, an enemy, the object of your greatest aversion? (St. Chrysostom, hom. xxxii.) — Christ here asserts that the girl is only asleep, to shew that it was as easy for him to raise her from death as from sleep. (Theophylactus)