Death in the Eyes of Eternity
It’s funny we often assume that everyone thinks like us. Our presuppositions are not thought through and we think that things that are personal preferences are common sense among everyone. Jesus was so great at blowing away assumptions. This story of Lazarus was one of those moments where everyone’s assumptions were debunked.
Remember, when Jesus was told that Lazarus was dying, He did not rush to Bethany to help. The Bible says He stayed right where He was for four more days.
You would think that He would want to save Lazarus. After all, isn’t that what life is all about; making sure you stay here as long as possible? Not according to Jesus. He saw things from a totally different perspective. That perspective often got Him into a lot of trouble with His friends.
When Jesus finally decided that He would go to see His friends, Lazarus had already died. Jesus knew this and had a plan. His friends didn’t know about the plan and had already formulated what they would do when they saw their soon to be ex-friend. What kind of a friend abandons you in your most trying moments?! Well, here comes Jesus, and Mary goes out to meet Him. Can you imagine what she may have been thinking? On the other hand, Martha stayed home to sit shiva; a seven day mourning period that began after the funeral of her brother. That was a totally Martha thing to do. She always does the right thing, in her own eyes anyway.
So here comes Jesus, and Mary is confused. Here is this guy who we know has the power of God and he stayed away, but her hope is not totally lost. Since Jesus has God’s ear, He can just ask God to take the whole thing back, right? As they walk back to the house, Mary appeals to that connection. Jesus says to Mary, “your brother will rise again.” Not to be thought ignorant, Martha says, “I know that he will rise again in the Resurrection!”
Of course, Jesus had to upset the whole applecart, by injecting a seeming non-sequitor, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
What was she going to say? No? Of course she knew who He was. They’d been hanging out with Him for a long time. “Yes Lord,” she said to Him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who is coming into the world.”
Jesus’ view of death is not limited to this world. He is not worried about saving someone before they die because He has the power over death. Jesus does things for motivations that we often can’t understand. When we try to impose our presuppositions on Him, as we often do on others, we are most likely in for a shock. He views death in the Eyes of Eternity. There is no fear. We should adopt His view, and our view of death will be transformed.
See Ya Next Time
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Rev Dr. Cheryl A Durham, Biblical Counselor, Discipleship Coach, Above and Beyond Discipleship Ministries, provides services for individuals and groups online and via teleconference. www.abovenbeyonddiscipleship.com