I am the Resurrection and the Life

Yesterday I stood by a grave watching the coffin of a friend’s father be lowered in.

The body inside…lifeless…dead. A shell.

People grieved. Remembering. Mourning. Hearts heavy at having to let go.

Tears were shed.

It made me think of John 11 and the story of Lazarus.

Lazarus was dead. 4 days dead.

His body was in the tomb. And his sisters were distraught.

Jesus arrives and he weeps.

He shares in their grief. He mourns with them. Alongside them. He mourns the fact that death was never part of the Father’s original plan.

Jesus’ compassion oozes from this story.

Jesus. Messiah. Weeps.

He doesn’t have to. He doesn’t need to. I mean, he must know what’s about to happen next…what He’s going to do.

I find something wonderfully messy in this tension of Jesus’ humanity and divinity here.

He weeps as he gets ready to raise.

Please get the fact that Jesus gets our pain…our grief. Don’t let that pass you by.

But don’t stay there either.

Move on to the raising.

The One who has just declared himself to be the resurrection and the life, now imparting resurrection and life.

Life conquering death.

A foretaste of what would soon happen again in a far greater way.

Linger a little longer here…think about how death must have shuddered in the presence of the One who was Life.

The giver of Life stood outside the tomb of death. And spoke. Lazarus, come out!

And death conceded defeat.

Lazarus came out.

I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.

For my friend, yesterday was bitter-sweet.

He grieved. He wept. He mourned.

But he rejoiced.

He knew his father trusted in the One who was the Resurrection and the Life. He knew that for his father, death was not the end.

Where, O death, is your victory?

Simon Lang