Two great readings this week focusing on the raising of the dead, resurrection to new life. In the first reading from Ezekiel God says, “O my people, I am going to open your graves and raise you from the dead…And I will put my Spirit in you so you will live. Then you will know that I, your God, will do what I said I would do.”
If you read that and then read the Gospel according to John about Lazarus raised from the dead by Jesus…it’s powerful stuff! Jesus shows us the power of God to raise the dead. By raising Lazarus Jesus proved the truth of God’s power to do as he said, to resurrect the dead. Jesus even says to his disciples that Lazarus’ illness would not end in death; his illness was a means to gain their belief in Him, that He is the One that God sent and that He IS the resurrection and life!
As the story unfolds we see, again, the progression of faith in those who were close to Jesus and loved him dearly but still did not believe him to be God as well as man. Jesus obviously loved Lazarus and he felt the grief of those around him and was deeply moved to tears. Martha professes her belief that Lazarus will rise again at the end of time in the resurrection of all people. Jesus tells her that HE is the resurrection and life and anyone who believes in Him, even though they die, they will live forever. Martha converts at that moment fully in the belief that Jesus is the Christ. Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and many people believed in Him as the Christ.
This is what Jesus asks us to believe now. He wants us to see his humanity and that he is God and can do all things promised of God including raising the dead. He wants us to believe that He is the resurrection and the life and that if we believe in Him we will never die. This is what he meant when he told the Samaritan woman at the well that He had water that would give eternal life! Opening the eyes of the man born blind so that he could “see” Jesus and worship Him is like Jesus raising Lazarus so that His disciples, and others, could SEE this great deed and know Jesus is the One sent by God!
This is our final scrutiny reading during Lent. By now the elect have dispelled all darkness from themselves and have filled those places with the light of Jesus! Have we done the same? That is what our Lenten journey is about…dispelling the darkness and filling ourselves with light! Anything that comes between us and God is darkness…anything that brings us closer to God and causes us to love Him more is LIGHT!
The reading this week from Hebrews 8:8-11 NAB sums up our expectations of the promises of Jesus Christ:
“But if Christ is in you,
although the body is dead because of sin,
the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit dwelling in you.”
Our Psalm this week is Psalm 130: With The Lord There is Mercy number 281 in Spirit and Song.
Don’t forget about the Lenten Mission at Holy Trinity this coming Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, April 7-9!!