Saturday, November 9: John 11 – 12
Just as the blind man in Chapter 9 is a story unique to John, Chapter 11 presents another unique story with the death and rising of Lazarus. What a powerful story. Most of us are familiar with it, even if we haven’t read much of the Bible.
- One of Jesus’ friends is sick and in need of healing
- Jesus is invited to come and heal him.
- He chooses not to.
- Then changes his mind, but it’s to late. Lazarus has died.
- The sisters weep.
- Jesus weeps.
- With bold words, “Lazarus come out!” The dead come back to life!
Granted that is a real quick summary of the story, but that’s it in a nut shell. We could reflect on a bunch of the details given, however I’d like us to think about Lazarus for a minute. What do you think was going on in his mind after he came back up out of the tomb. My gut reaction is “Jesus what were you thinking!” Trusting in the promise of eternal life, dwelling in the glory of God, who in their right mind would want to come back to this? Not me! I certainly hope that when my time is come, that I can enjoy the splendor of eternal life without being wrenched back to the struggles of life on earth. That being said, I would think Lazarus must have thought, “Jesus what were you thinking!”
However, this takes place in the days prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection, and without Jesus death and resurrection we may wonder if paradise was open to the faithful. Isn’t that what Jesus died for, to open the gates of paradise, among other things? So . . . if paradise wasn’t open, perhaps Lazarus was doomed to live in “Sheol” as we often read in the bible. Life in the fringe, no hope, no suffering, yet no glory either. Perhaps, without the cross there was little for Lazarus to enjoy. At least temporarily. So for that, Lazarus might give thanks for the new gift of life.
Either way, the power of God is revealed. Jesus has power over the living and the dead. Jesus restores the hope and life of all people, and in him we have inherited the gifts that only God can give!
Reading for the next few days:
Sunday, November 10: John 13 – 15
Monday, November 11: John 16 – 18
Tuesday, November 12: John 19 – 21