I am so very impressed with the story of Jesus raising Lazarus. (Click here to read this story.) This account, in particular, was one of his last acts and is instructive in the way he overcame numerous obstacles in order to raise Lazarus. Some of these obstacles were:
- Jesus' dearly loved friends (Martha and Mary) were grieved and burdened by Lazarus' death
- the misunderstanding and disbelief of the resurrection and its practical possibility now
- the Jewish thought at that time said a person dead for more than three days was beyond resuscitation
- the growing hostility from Jerusalem's leadership
- the crowds of people standing by including professional mourners and others who probably generally did not believe that a resurrection was possible.
And what did Jesus do when he got to the gravesite? He gave thanks - not for God's sake, but for the people around him, so that they might believe.
When reading of accounts like these, I like to juxtapose another verse from the Bible from Philippians 2:5 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" and consider what Jesus was seeing and feeling at that moment? Jesus must have felt profoundly the ultimate confidence in God as life, the certainty of his mission and unquestioned expectation that God's will is done.
Bible stories like these give me time to ponder the promise that we, too, can feel God's presence and feel a confidence that comes from the proof that God's guidance and love are a tangible force in our lives.
Resurrection is a present possibility. Whether we are dealing with confusing relationships, a lack of direction in our lives, oppressive poltical situations, doubt, terminal illness, death, or simply feel we can't get our own footing in the noise of materialism today, we can look to Christ Jesus' example and draw from his confidence in God. Even if we can take a small step in that direction, we can make progress and see more light day by day by day.
All the mornings of the World by Sonja Maneri. Click on art to go to her website.
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