Rev Renewal – March 27, 2020

““Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21)”

“When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32)”

“Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies” (John 11:25)”

The story of Lazarus’s death includes a comment made by both sisters regarding Jesus’ presence and the trust they had in him.  They both proclaim, “if you had only been here, Lord, my brother would not have died”.  The sisters reveal their trust in what Jesus can do – bring healing to those who are sick.  That is why they are saddened that Jesus did not come sooner.  Now, they feel it is too late.  Their brother is gone, and nothing can be done.

Jesus, though, reassures the sisters that he is “the resurrection and the life” and that “those who believe in him will live, even though they have died”.  While Lazarus has in fact died, Jesus affirms that believing in him will bring forth a resurrection.  This truth, however, is hard for the sisters to grasp at the immediate moment.  They are aware of Christ’s power of resurrection, but that would be at a much later date.

The story concludes with Jesus showing his power of resurrection through commanding Lazarus to come out of the tomb (see John 11:43).  The fullness of this power would also be displayed when Christ himself, after being crucified, would raise from the dead.  In doing so, we experience God’s glory and desire for redemption of his creation.

In our current pandemic, the events taking place may present the question “why is this happening?”  Why do we have to experience the fears, anxieties, and uncertainties?  Furthermore, why wouldn’t God come and rescue us?

As Jesus proclaimed to the sisters, so he proclaims to us even now.  I am the resurrection and the life.  In small ways, the pain we are experiencing emotionally or physically, has drawn us closer to the only one who can bring resurrection and life.  We have become aware that we are not in control, but through the hope we have in the resurrection, we can bring life and light to our current situation.  When people reach out to one another with love and grace; when people support one another despite their differences, new life begins to bloom.

I pray that we continue to cling to the promise of resurrection and life, even in the presence of death and darkness.

Pastor Arlyn ><>