Friday, June 20, 2014. I had a dream this night. I was talking to our secretaries, and one was missing. The others told me, the missing one had suddenly died last afternoon. All were in a kind of shock.
Lazarus has died …
In the bible, we are not kept away from loss and death. Jesus himself has experienced it, and the people which lived with him also had it as part of their life. Let us continue to read John 11:
28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” (John 11, Vers 28-37)
When we read this whole chapter of the Gospel of John, we realize how serious death is taken. The story could have been told in one paragraph - at the end Jesus called Lazarus back to life! But it first sincerely stays with our trouble. Death is there. It is the end. And the only thing which it leaves to us is weeping …!
Jesus deeply moved …
It is an important part of this story, that Jesus takes part in the weeping. He is there with Mary. He is there, and he does not quickly jump over the difficulties of this situation. He takes time to be there and to experience what all people here experience: loss.
The story is given to us to learn from it. God takes our loss serious. He is there with us. He is there even in the middle of our weeping. When there is nothing to do any more for us, he still sees us. He comes to us. He even calls us - here he calls Mary personally! Perhaps that is one of the main points here as well: Jesus is calling us in the middle of our trouble. When we are still completely absorbed by the pain, he is calling us.
There is also the confusion of the people present in this situation. Is it possible to comprehend what just happened? Can we understand death? We can not! We are not in control here. But he should be in control. Lazarus would not have died, if Jesus would have been present. That is it what Mary thinks. And also the others: could he not have done something? These are questions which bear some truth in it, as we will learn soon - but here they are rising in the middle of confusion!
The problem is not just Lazarus and his death. There is the death of missing faith present everywhere. There is the confusion which comes from the separation from God. There is much more death already in the middle of our life than we are usually aware of. Jesus, knowing all this, then starts to act … we need to read on and we will be taken into it. (Roland Potthast) ... more texts