DayBreaks for 9/21/17: I Wonder About Lazarus
Note: Galen is traveling this week.
From the DayBreaks archive, 9/2007:
ABID JAN, Ivory Coast (08/26, Reuter’s): “A 2-year old girl was recovered alive three days after she was buried in a village cemetery. Grave diggers in the area heard the young girl and immediately uncovered her grave. Minata Lafissa was taken back to her parents in the village of Yakasse-Feyasse. Lafissa was originally pronounced dead from a mystery illness.”
What a terrifying experience this must have been for little Minata! One of my greatest fears (I’m claustrophobic – afraid of being closed in), is that I would be buried alive. I can’t hardly stand to crawl underneath a car to change oil! Can you imagine what it would be like to be sick, fall asleep, and wake up some time later in a closed, sealed coffin – buried alive!?!?! It is the stuff of the worst horror movies and nightmares.
How do you feel about death?
John 11.43-44: When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
There was a difference between Lazarus and Minata: unlike Minata, he was really and truly dead, it was done, over, finished. He, like Minata, had been in the grave for days. Only he was dead for all that time – not awake and screaming. Then, all of a sudden, he hears an irresistible Voice – he opens his eyes and sees he is in a tomb. Somehow (the verse isn’t real clear on how it exactly happened) his body moves forth out of the tomb (he couldn’t probably walk wrapped up as he was – it appears that he perhaps was “levitated” out of the tomb, but who knows?) His eyes begin to see light through the wrappings around his face. The first face he sees is probably his friend Jesus, or the faces of his sisters, Mary and Martha, as their trembling hands remove the wrappings. They’ve all been crying, but for different reasons. Mary and Martha are crying out of incredible joy for having their brother back. Jesus has been crying because of the ravages of sin on mankind that brought death to his friend.
How do you think Lazarus felt? I wonder if he was happy to be back, or if he’d rather of stayed where he was. (Probably a silly thing to wonder – if he was with God!) How would I have felt? If I’d already gone through the anxiousness of death itself, of the painful good-byes to loved ones, of drawing the last breath with a shudder – I think I wouldn’t be too keen on repeating the experience all over again. I wonder what he saw while he was dead. We simply aren’t told, because it really isn’t important. I’d have liked to see him, talk with him, to have known him after this happened.
But, at the same time, if I’d been Lazarus, I would be amazed. I would be standing before Jesus, knowing that some incredible power, His incredible power, had made me alive again after I’d been dead. Here’s the amazing thing: I have been where Lazarus was! If you’re a believer in Christ, you’ve been there, too: Col 2.13: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins…
How does it feel? I have been brought back to life by God’s amazing power. And I am sustained by His great power. And even though I will die physically, I will not die spiritually – I will live forever with Him. Let me tell you in case you haven’t experienced this resurrection of the spirit – it feels great!!!!
What Jesus did for Lazarus, what He’s done for me, He can and will do for you – if you believe in Him. He wants to raise you to a new life. He wants to raise your friends and family to the same life, too. When you look at your fellow-believers this weekend at church, remember – you’re looking at a person who has been raised from the dead by the power of Jesus Christ!
PRAYER: Father, thank You for life, for stirring and breathing life into our dead souls. Help us to celebrate and rejoice in the new life You have given us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2007 by Galen C. Dalrymple.