This is a holy week for the Judeo-Christian world. All faiths have times of sacred celebration and in honoring this we can all be united. I understand that not everyone who reads my blog will have the same religious convictions, but we all have reason to be connected to a higher power. My personal belief system has brought me much light and goodness. I hope you will be able to find the principles of truth in what I have to share about Easter regardless of your beliefs.
Recently, I was able to listen to an original sacred work called “Lamb of God” by composer Rob Gardner. I was especially struck by his composition of the story of Lazarus. The week before the death and resurrection of Christ, a very significant event took place that would provide a foundation of faith, belief and understanding for the believers of what would occur in the life of Christ only days later.
Jesus had established a deep friendship with Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus. Christ knew when he heard of Lazarus being deathly ill, that what would come of it would bring glory to God. Jesus traveled back to Judea and once he had arrived near Bethany, where his friends lived, Martha came to greet him. Mourning the death of her brother 4 days previous, she said that ‘Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother would not have died.’ Mary repeated these same sentiments when she came out to meet Jesus. Then the group of Jews also coming to mourn the death of Lazarus, went with Jesus, his disciples and Mary and Martha to the tomb of Lazarus. When they saw Jesus weep, these Jews stated that Jesus could have prevented this death from even occurring. It seems to me that their faith was such that they didn’t believe Christ could bring back something that was obviously lost to this life.
Christ then asked Martha to remove the stone covering the tomb. She hesitated because she knew the body had been in the tomb already 4 days. Then, Christ reminded her of their previous conversation when he promised that “Thy brother shall rise again. I am the Resurrection and the life, he that believeth in my, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whoseover liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
Martha exhibited her trust in what the Savior had told her and had the stone then removed, making way for a miracle. Jesus then had a brief prayerful conversation with his Father in heaven, expressing his gratitude for hearing his plea for his friend and the miracle he was about to perform. Then with the authority of God, Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” Lazarus did come forth from the dark tomb and was removed of his graveclothes and granted his life once again.
How often in our lives do we feel hopeless? Mourning the results of our life or the lives of those we love and hold dear? Have we felt at times that life is beyond hope, lost and even dead? Like Mary, Martha and the Jews, we wish God would have intervened and prevented the death and loss from ever occurring, but it is through the death that we see the glory of God. That He can restore us to life. That even though we feel as if dead, we can yet live. Most importantly, that when we believe and trust the Savior, no one is a lost cause. We might need to remove some barriers that hold back our faith, as Martha had to trust the Savior and remove the stone that covered the grave. But once we allow a particle of faith to take hold, miraculous things begin to happen and we emerge from the darkness, into the light. We can then remove our “graveclothes” and the effects of our death and disbelief. We are then granted our life once again.
The Resurrection is often seen as a very physical event, such as was for Lazarus and Christ, but in our lives, we too can be restored to life from what feels like death and to the light from the darkness. A Savior is always there calling to us, “come forth.” All is not lost, Life is calling to us. Let us let go of the dark and remove all that would keep us in death and look to and live in the Light.