2005-12-08 - Lazarus
John 11:43-44 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus , come out!" 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." (NIV)
This past weekend, I got an email from someone I have known for many years, but had lost contact with about fifteen years ago. We have been friends since the 7th grade. The disconnect was very sudden. It was not unlike she had died. There was a barrier of sorts between us and I could not get through it. The email was like Lazarus walking out of the tomb. Suddenly back to the living, Lazarus was unbandaged and returned to his waiting sisters and friends.
There was barrier between Mary and Martha and Lazarus while he was dead. In the end, death became a barrier again later between these siblings. But one thing was sure. Since Jesus was their Messiah, they would all be together again in the resurrection. They would not be separated for all eternity. That can be really hard to remember when mourning the loss of someone very dear to us and all we feel is the loss. And while the loss is very real, it is temporary when they know Jesus as their Savior.
One of the foundational pieces of Christianity is the resurrection. Jesus rose from the grave on the third day crushing the power of death. The power of sin was cancelled by his shed blood and physical death on the cross. While that was the moment in time, the three persons of the Godhead had planned the salvation of mankind from before time itself had begun. We are the beneficiaries of that plan and of the fruits of the Lord's death and resurrection.
Rev 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. (NIV)
In the time of the creation, our names were place in the book of life belonging to the Lamb. Yes, we have free will. But God is omniscient. He knows everything. He is omni-present, being everywhere at all times. And so, He knows the end from the beginning - He knows the end of the story before it is written. But it must be written and we must write in our parts.
The veil between my friend and myself has been lifted and we are catching up on fifteen years of separation. We may have to do this again someday, but we have been given a small taste of the joy of the reunion that is waiting for all Christians in Heaven with our Savior and our friends.
Grace & Peace,