“Lazarus, come forth!” (John 11:43 KJV)
How lovely, despite Jesus’ countless rejections, that He found consolation within a handful of friends. One such family lived near Jerusalem named Martha, Mary, and their brother Lazarus. No wonder they welcomed Jesus’ visits. His composure brought peace into their home. A lengthy account in John’s gospel narrates this story and begins like so, ‘now a man named Lazarus was sick’.
Immediately, Mary and Martha sent word for Jesus to heal him, but Jesus didn’t come. Days later, Lazarus died. Hope died. Even though the sisters had witnessed Jesus’ mighty miracles, this situation was different. Death seemed, well, final. Now their festive home became scattered ashes. However during the gloomiest moment, down the dusty road comes hope, their friend Jesus, walking right back into their lives.
Weeks later, the afternoon sky blackened, Pilate washed his hands of the whole ordeal, and Jesus’ body lay in a borrowed tomb. Hope died. Paralyzed by fear, His followers despaired, hiding behind locked doors. Yet, as shadows deepened into morning light of the third day, Christ arose from the grave. Hope lives! Now, whoever accepts Jesus, can receive a living hope that never dies. Jesus has power over life and death as well as power to forgive sins. This is because He is the Creator of life. He who is life can surely restore life. And whoever believes in Christ has a spiritual life that death cannot conquer or diminish in any way.
Perhaps you are downcast today? If so, take heart because Hope is stronger than death, and Light brighter than darkness. Not only does Jesus heal our brokenness, He offers new beginnings. Since death has been defeated, all believers in Christ live forever. “He who believes in Me, though he dies, yet shall he live” (John 11:25)
*Father, resurrect our spirits and cause us to hope again in You. Amen.