5th Sunday of Lent

Ez 37:12-14; Rom 8:8-11; John 11:1-45

Dear Friends! Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead physically in his body. He had been dead for four days. Jesus had previously raised the daughter of Jairus (Luke 8:41-42, 49-56) and the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17). But nowhere is there an instance of someone being raised from the dead after four days. This is the crowning miracle of Jesus’ ministry. If Jesus can restore a body that had been in the tomb for four days and has begun to decompose he can certainly mend the brokenness and wounds of our lives. Jesus said to Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life, Whoever believes in me, even if he dies will live, And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26).

Jesus asks the same question of us also, “Do you believe this? Do you believe that I am the resurrection and the life? Do you believe that I can mend all the brokenness and wounds of your life? Do you believe that I not only offer you resurrection in the future but also the fullness of life now in the present?” Jesus proclaims that he is both the resurrection and the life. He promises future resurrection but also invites us to share now in the fullness of his life. The resurrection of Lazarus is not just a promise about the future of each of us. It is also an invitation from Jesus to enter into the fullness of his life in the present, right now, and that life will continue in us after death.

Do you believe that Jesus calls you to enjoy the fullness of his life now? Do you believe that Jesus is now calling you out of any tomb you may be in (tomb of selfishness, hatred ness, Pride, jealousy, envy etc)? Jesus says to each of us, “Come out of your tomb, come out your bondage. Do not live in the darkness, live in the light. Do not live in fear, live in faith.” The Word God is so powerful even the dead and decomposing body could hear his word and obey. Let us allow the word of God to penetrate and set us free from our bondage. Jesus calls us out of the tomb to new life.

How do we achieve this freedom? How do we get out of our tombs? Notice that Martha and Mary sent a message to Jesus. We too have to send a message to Jesus and we do this by spending time with Jesus in prayer and sharing with him our wounds, hurts and anxieties. Let us keep no secrets from Jesus but lay all bare before him. That is the only way to the mature relationship with Jesus.

Notice that when Jesus received the message about Lazarus’ illness he stayed where he was for two more days. We expect God to answer prayer in our time but sometimes God’s time is different to ours. Also sometimes we may be tempted to despair and say God cannot do anything for me. This is like Martha in the Gospel who objected to the stone being removed. But Jesus replied, “Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40) Jesus is constantly calling us to new life in him; to come forth from whatever is keeping us in bondage. Sometimes a hurt we thought had been healed in prayer may surface again months or years later. God is now inviting us to a deeper healing of that situation.

When at the tomb Jesus himself did not take the stone away but he asked others to do it. For a miracle to happen God needs our cooperation. If you cooperate with Jesus and obey his commands, certainly we too will experience the miracle. Let us today accept Jesus’ invitation, let us walk out of any bondage in the tomb, be unbound and go free.

“I am the resurrection and the life,

Whoever believes in me, even if he dies will live,

And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.

Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

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