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Read John 11:1-45
This extended passage of the raising of Lazarus is enmeshed with the theme of death and darkness. There is the threat to Jesus’ life in Jerusalem that forced the entourage of disciples to flee; the willingness of Jesus to return near Jerusalem to Bethany at the news of Lazarus’ death; Thomas’ bold declaration that the disciples should prepare to die with Jesus; and the mourning of the household of Mary and Martha.
In the face of all of these dark challenges, Jesus calls his followers – even us, in 2017 – to see with the light that is within us. Later, in response to Martha’s great confession that she believes in the resurrection at the last day, Jesus declares that he is ‘the resurrection and the light’. Not a future resurrection, but a present new life. And standing in the middle of the grieving and saddened crowd of mourners, Jesus begins to weep. Traditionally, we see this as the humanity of Jesus’ emotions. I wonder, however, if it is also his dismay that these followers, in their grief and darkness, are unable to see the light of the resurrection with their enlightened eyes of faith.
Perhaps our admonition in any dark time is to hear Jesus’ command… “unbind them and let them go.” Let those who have eyes to see and ears to hear take note!
In the darkness of our days help us to believe and walk in the light.
Central Christian Church, Uniontown, PA
Christian Church Foundation