John 11, Psalm 11
When Jesus said those three little words, “Lazarus, come out”, the Lord of Life forever transformed our world. Do I claim this because Lazarus was raised from the dead? No, Jesus along with even Elijah and Elisha performed similar miracles before. Is it because Jesus showed the great authority he had over death in speaking to a dead man as if living? Certainly it would be hard to argue any of Jesus’ signs demonstrated greater than this, but Jesus’ authority is hardly novel. Rather, in raising Lazarus, Jesus helps us to reinterpret the events leading up to the moment Lazarus shook off death like a long night’s sleep that we might view all events since in their light. Remember, “Jesus wept”, more accurately translated, “Jesus agonized” in grief over the tears of Mary, one of Jesus’ beloved disciples. People have reflected for millennia on why Jesus would cry right before showing death whose boss. The most persuasive reason is that Jesus wept over the grief of a suffering loved-one. In no uncertain terms, the Man who has power over life and death genuinely suffers with us. In fact the one who suffers with us calls Himself, “The Resurrection and life.” Jesus affirms both his future intentions and HIs life-transforming power in that very moment. To a Jewish person, the resurrection referred to what we would call the Judgement. Based on visions found in Ezekiel 37 and Daniel 12 along with other Jewish writings, the expectation in Jesus’ day was that God would bring everyone that has ever died out of the grave for judgement, and declare us either righteous or unrighteous. For Jesus to say He is the resurrection is to say the future has broken into this moment, and one can see with their own eyes God’s good intentions for those that know Him. The future has become now, and all that know Jesus, or are known as His will be judged righteous now and can find the freedom that comes from knowing that death will be like sleep. That should help you start off the week. The Resurrection and Life has power for the rest of your days.