Beyond Lazarus

Read John 11:43-44

C.S. Lewis points out in his book, Miracles, that the “resurrection” of Lazarus is unlike the resurrection of Christ. Lazarus was given back his old life, a life he would lose again. Being brought back from the dead is something less than resurrection. It is getting back what we lost. I think many Christians limit their hope to this. They want to go back to sweeter times. They want youth, money, relationships, enthusiasm, or whatever they feel they no longer have, to be restored by God “like that which the locusts ate.” Christ rising from the dead gives us more than a second helping of the best of the life we’ve known. It is a new life, an entirely different life, and an eternal life. It is a life where losses can be recategorized as gains, even painful losses. The resurrection of Christ shows how our pain will be eclipsed by joy, just as death is eclipsed by life. Christ did not merely stand up to sin and death. He destroyed everything that destroys. In time, rather than instantly, we who believe will see the fullness of this destruction. Death will be removed from the scene. Loss will be impossible. Death returned for Lazarus, but not for Christ, and not in Christ. The day will finally come for you, Christian, when Jesus Himself will wipe away every tear from your eyes. And you will never see those tears again.

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