John 11:17, 32-35, 41-44
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days….
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping
and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept….
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”
The Resurrection of our Lord, which Christians will remember and celebrate two weeks from now, already is dazzlingly, amazingly astonishing.
But we are promised resurrection as well! And the proof of that is the account of John 11, of Jesus’ raising of Lazarus, who had been dead for four days.
The promise of resurrection isn’t just in John 11. It’s in the Old Testament as well.
Ezekiel 37:12, 14
Thus says the Lord God:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them…
I will put my spirit in you that you may live….
I have promised, and I will do it, says the Lord.
The promise of resurrection is not given to everyone. The necessary condition is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Triune Godhead.
I will put my spirit in you that you may live
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ
does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you,
although the body is dead because of sin,
the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead
dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit dwelling in you.
Take seriously this warning of St. Paul in Romans 8:12-13:
[W]e are not debtors to the flesh,
to live according to the flesh.
For if you live according to the flesh,
you will die,
but if by the spirit
you put to death the deeds of the body,
you will live.
Isn’t to live “according to the flesh” satanist Aleister Crowley’s “do as thou will”?
Which is exactly what pop culture prods and encourages us to do?
Instead of the false allure of self-fulfillment, “do as thou will” is a sure path to enslavement (“debtors to the flesh”) and death of the spirit. Beware!
May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,