By Mary Downey
Community Hope Center, Inc. Kissimmee, FL
First, read John 11:1-45 (Psalm 146, 130)
When my oldest son was 10 months old, he let out one long scream from his crib. I rushed into his room, picked him up and noticed that his body was convulsing in something that looked like a seizure. That morning he had been fine. He was taking his first steps down the long hallway of our house, letting go of my hands as he stepped his way across the kitchen floor to his daddy. Now, just a few hours later we were sitting in the ER waiting to understand what had happened to him and why his body was paralyzed from the neck down.
Over the next two weeks he slowly regained movement in his arms and legs. He had to learn to sit up by himself again, crawl again, and eventually, many weeks later, he tentatively began to walk again. There was sickness, and then there was healing.
This happened in April 2011 - five years ago - almost to the day. It seems my dear Jude has a metabolic disorder that for whatever reason caused his body to shut down until we found the right combination to heal him. And although this mama will always worry if he’s okay, for the most part he’s an amazing six year old kid that loves to read and will talk your ear off about Pokémon.
I love that kid more than anything in the whole wide world. If there were a way, I would have traded places with him in an instant. I wanted more than anything for it to be me paralyzed, scared, unknowing what the future may hold. In today’s reading Jesus shows up after Lazarus has not only been sick, but he’s died. They’ve buried him. His sisters rush to Jesus. “If only you had been here,” they cry.
Jesus is so overcome with the reality of Lazarus’ death that he himself begins to weep. I wonder if he wept because he knew that in a few short days HE would be the one to take Lazarus’ place – I wonder if he wept because he could already feel Lazarus’ pain of being paralyzed and scared. And so Jesus gives honor to God and then he resurrects Lazarus from the grave.
When faced with life or death situations we want life to win. We want to do everything in our power to heal. But sometimes death also must happen. If Jesus had healed Lazarus’ then he would not have been able to resurrect him. To have resurrection, you must first have death. But, because of Christ’s love for us, we do not have to believe that death will have the last word! That is the beauty of resurrection. It means that no sickness whether one that happens to an infant child or a grown man ends in death – no, it ends with God getting the glory – it ends with resurrection hope
1. What is something in your life that may need to die so God can bring resurrection?
2. Have you ever experienced a situation where you wanted to change places with someone that was hurting?
3. How can you practice resurrection in your life by bringing new hope and life to others around you?