Archive for the 'LAZARUS' Category

LAZARUS

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Jesus raising of Lazarus from the dead was a deep prefigurement of His own impending agony and death and His ultimate triumph over death. There is a deep sense in this event that Jesus is preparing His disciples for His own ultimate death.

Martha on greeting Jesus was full of her own grief and need and was almost chastising Jesus for not being around when He was most needed. “Lord if You had been here my brother would not have died.” Even Jesus answer to her, “Your brother will rise again”, did not put her off. “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day”. She could not really comprehend the wonder of who stood before her or the full depth of His authority and power. He said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die.”

Jesus then raised Lazarus, four days dead, from the tomb. But what were the depths of that which Jesus revealed here to those who witnessed this event? And what message can we take to ourselves about Jesus love and power and authority?

To me the deepest message is that our lives are not our own. No matter what we think about our lives and who we think we are, there is a power greater than ourselves, and that power is Jesus. All who witnessed this event saw that their very own life depended on Jesus Himself as to whether they lived or died. Lazarus himself knew with a certainty beyond words that Jesus both loved him and wanted him to have life, and perhaps more deeply that his life was not his own but truly, completely, was beyond his own power or authority. Jesus revealed that He was indeed the Lord of his life. I don't think we can begin to comprehend the depth of the reality of Lazarus's knowledge of Jesus love and power over him and his knowledge that here before him was the owner and lover of his life.

This is the wonder that I take from this passage of scripture. I am not my own. My life is hidden in Christ. It is not on the last day that we are risen up with Him, but today. Today my life is not my own, today I can know that He is the owner and possessor of my soul. Today I can be guided and filled with the knowledge of His power and love. Today I can know, like Lazarus, that Jesus love is raising me up to life in Him.

My heart is stammering to express the wonder that Lazarus must have felt looking at the Lord of life who had command and authority and power and love over his life. What ponderings of heart must Lazarus have had looking into the eyes of the man who held absolute power over his very life.

The other interesting aspect of this event is that even this act was not sufficient for the disciples to believe that Jesus would be raised from the dead Himself. For after He was raised and the woman told the apostles they did not believe.

The reason I find this interesting is that so many Christians today read the gospel stories and are convinced of their own belief. But how real is that belief? The disciples were men like us and saw many signs and wonders and knew Jesus, deeply, intimately and lovingly yet in the events that they were faced with they found it impossible to fully believe.

How can we be any different? Full belief is a difficult painful journey that few really find. “The road is narrow which leads to life and few there are who find it.” So I think it incumbent on us who have not witnessed the events proclaimed to be wary of declaring our faithfulness, but rather we need to take to heart the difficult task of fully trusting. Pondering how Lazarus must have felt is not a bad place to start.