Lukisan John Constable, Cottages and Windmill Drawn
5th Sunday of Lent
Ezekiel 37: 12-14
John 11: 3-45
Who is not fear of death? Naturally, man is fear of it. It is the final of worldly life. Then life is measured up by the time in which we change become old, get ill, or experience an accident leading to death like all the rest of the creatures. None can escape from the dead so that it seems so powerful it comes upon everything that has life.
But from the gospel of John today we know that everything changes: God is more powerful than death. It is proclaimed that Jesus –the son of God- raised Lazarus from the dead. The power of Jesus to raise the dead man makes us know that God is God who lives and reigns forever and ever; God who takes pity on humans.
This moment also affirms the other revelation that Jesus is really the Christ the Son of the living God, who is coming into this world. This identity of Jesus as Christ reveals his mission that the salvation and the redemption of the world are done by him through his suffering, his death, and his resurrection. Salvation and redemption pinpoint that God experiences death humanly to conquer death itself. It means that death has a new meaning under Christ: the man who believes in Christ has died with Christ in order to get new life: to be resurrected. Death is death with Christ that perfects our incorporation with Christ. The Christian who unites his death with the death of Christ sees that death is a journey toward Christ and it is the doorway to everlasting life within God’s kingdom. It shows that the end of life is not death but life, eternal life.
Raising Lazarus from the dead opens our eyes to faith that Jesus Christ is the guardian of life. That is why Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he is dead, shall live and everyone that lives, and believes in me, shall not die forever. Jesus Christ as the guardian of life restored dead to the life. Disbelief which escorts caused by the death becomes belief through his power: raising Lazarus from death. Doubt because death seems so anxious which leads to nothingness now is transformed into faith by Jesus that God is more powerful than death. Death is not nothingness but a step to glory with Him. His words I am the resurrection and the living comfort and strengthen all who believe in him. So Jesus Christ wipes not only the tears of Maria and Marta but all the tears from all faces.
Sin also causes death which means death is the consequence of sin. Even though death is a condition natural for man but God does not destiny man to death. For this reason, death is against the design of God’s creator and death enters the world as the consequence of sin.
The story of Lazarus who was died and buried in the tomb is also the story of us, representing us. Because of our sins actually, we are dead men and we are buried and we lay in the tomb. There is only darkness in the tomb. There is no light. We beg Christ to come to pull us out of the abyss of evil. Raise me up to, I who am strangled by the ties of my sin.
Jesus Christ shouts out to us to come forth as he did to Lazarus. Jesus personally shouts to us in our hearts to come out. Come out from your personal tomb. Come out from sin. Leave what is familiar, dark, and dead. Come out. Live again. The shout of Christ come out to us and to Lazarus is the call to live. It is a call to begin again. It is called to light. This time of lent is the time to listen to the call of Christ, the shout of Christ so that we can get a new life, becomes a new person, and be reconciled with God. The Lazarus who is coming from the tomb was the Lazarus who received new life, got the second time of life. How about us?
We follow and we hear the shout of Christ when we live under Holy Spirit and not under the flesh which leads to death. New life is living in Christ; our spirit is alive because of righteousness. The consequence of all is freedom. On the contrary, the sin ties us: bounds feet and hands with winding bands; and face are bound about with a napkin. But living in Christ and Holy Spirit are living in freedom and truth. Believing in Christ means losing our ties of sin because of the power of Christ who redeems us. All of this makes us understand well and feel so joyful for the fact that Jesus opens our graves and brings us out our sepulchers: come out. We know that God is the God of life. For this reason, we are like Marta would say: “Yes lord, I have come to believe that you are Christ, the son of God, the one who is coming into the world.
Said John Damascene:
“You walk, you weep, and you talk showing us your human nature,
But by raising Lazarus you reveal to us your divine nature.
By your nature and with sovereign power you accomplished my salvation”
 It is quoted from Deacon Greg Kandra.
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