Removing the ties that bind us: a reflection on Lazarus
This Sunday, we reflect on the Raising of Lazarus, found in John’s Gospel.
In the Gospel it says “Jesus wept”. Just two little words carry a world of emotion and speak volumes about Jesus. The verse highlights both Jesus’ humanity (he wept for the death of his friend); but also his divinity (Jesus raised Lazarus to life).
Removing the ties that bind us
To see a man bound up for burial suddenly come walking from his tomb must have been unnerving. However, Jesus calmly commands the astonished onlookers to “unbind him, let him go free”. These words speak to us today. as we come to the end of the Lenten season and approach the celebration of Easter. What are the things that ‘bind’ us? From what do we need to be released so that we may ‘go free’?
A turning point in the Gospel
The raising of Lazarus marks a turning point in the Gospel of John. Chapter 11 concludes with the Jewish authorities plotting to arrest Jesus and then Chapter 12 begins the final week of Jesus’ life in Jerusalem. In the Gospel of John, it is the episode with Lazarus that signs Jesus’ death warrant. Jesus gives up his own life so that Lazarus may live.
Like Jesus, we are now called to sacrifice
Right now, we are being called to make sacrifices – certainly nothing like those of Jesus – but we are called to stay home; to socially distance; to make big changes so that others may live.
While it’s a great credit to our health system that Australia has only lost 13 lives, we all need to work to ensure more lives are not lost. It’s our Christian duty to do what we can. These are challenging times, but our faith and our love for each other will see us through.
God bless you and your families.