This week’s gospel reading talks about the importance and meaning behind Jesus’s death and resurrection by looking at the story of Lazarus. The gospel text touches on Jesus’s friend Lazarus who was very sick and poor in health. However he died before Jesus could reach Martha’s and Mary’s house where he was residing.
Death has always been a very difficult topic to talk about as it brings about overwhelming emotions of sadness and hopelessness. Martha and Mary must have felt the feelings of sadness that their relative Lazarus had died. For us, death of a loved one is never easy and the pain we experience will always be there. But Jesus assures Martha and Mary that there is life through the resurrection.
Martha believed in Jesus as the Redeemer and the Resurrection which is why she said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died. Even now I know that whatever you ask of God, He gives you.” Like Martha, we need to believe that death is not an ending to our lives. Rather it is an ending to our earthly lives which is temporary. Our souls will never cease to exist and it is where we will experience eternal life through the love and mercy of God.
When Jesus told Martha that Lazarus will rise again, it seemed like: Martha, look, on the last day, I will raise the dead and they will live again. Jesus gives us reassurance and hope that death is also temporary as “The person who believes in me will never die.”
Despite the tremendous amount of emotions and sadness that Martha and Mary were feeling, Jesus still went to Lazarus’s tomb to call him out into the living again. The tomb represents the darkness and sin that we carry, but with Jesus’s guidance and mercy, we are about to journey out of the tombs to experience Jesus. From sadness, there came joy when Mary and Martha saw the resurrection of Lazarus.
The resurrection of Lazarus was proof to the crowd that Jesus was the Messiah and that though our human lives will come to an end, there is still eternal life to be experienced when Jesus calls us. This is the reason why we must be prepared and live life with good Christian values. Also, we must know that death is a natural process which everyone must go through. In preparation, we should be willing to forgive and welcome the New Life which is when Jesus comes again and then they will be no more death.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong