“And then Jesus was like, ‘Lazarus…RISE!'”
The youth room filled with laughter as Grace, a ninth grader loudly and dramatically filled us in on what happened prior to the Gospel passage we had just read together. We were reading the story of Lazarus’ sister, Mary, anointing the feet of Jesus with expensive perfume in John 12:1-8. Grace’s task was to summarize what we already knew about Lazarus and his sisters and what had happened when Lazarus became ill and passed away (John 11).
What would it have been like for Lazarus, to be someone that Jesus raised from the tomb back into the land of the living? Was it like being a person who should have died, but was given a second chance at life? Did he hug his family tighter, add more things to his bucket list, and live assured that his life must have a purpose–after all, he was given a second chance! That doesn’t happen for everyone!
Or was it more than that because Lazarus was actually dead, actually buried and actually brought back from death to life? Was it the kind of experience that doesn’t just prompt a temporary change…or even an almost-complete change? What was it like to be a person who Jesus called out of death back into life?
What is it like to be a person called by Jesus from death to life? Dead to sin, now alive in Christ?
How does that change a person still?