Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”
— John 11:25-26 (NRSV)
When Jesus brought Lazarus back to life, he knew Lazarus would one day have to die again. What Jesus did was more like resuscitation. Resuscitation means restoring life the way it was. We want God to bring a loved one back; repair a relationship; return a job; etc. We pray: “God, just restore my life the way it used to be.” Yet, the dialogue between Jesus and Lazarus’s sisters reveals that this is a story for those who have to live with death. To them Jesus promises resurrection. There is a difference.
A friend of mine told me about an experience he had seven months after his wife died following a bout with cancer. He sensed God wanting to give him peace, but he was resistant. He wanted his wife back. How could he have peace? Several months later he felt God telling him, “It’s okay to have peace.” He lowered his resistance and soon found new possibilities emerging. He said, “As long as I was in resistance, I couldn’t discover the new possibilities God had for me.”
It’s easy to crave resuscitation—to want God to return life the way it was before, but Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life.” He doesn’t just restore. He transforms. Death can take away, but God gives new life. Christ is resurrection and life!
Living God, thank you for the gift of resurrection. Help us to embrace the new life you offer us. Amen.
Consider the difference between Lazarus and Jesus. Lazarus was brought back to this life; Jesus was brought back to a resurrected life. What is the difference between resuscitation and resurrection to you?
Credits: *From The Upper Room daily devotional guide. Copyright ©2015. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
This and the other devotionals for this Lenten Series can be found at the following link: http://www.thegodwecanknow.com/category/50-devotions/