THE RESURRECTION OF LAZARUS
“Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’” (Jn 11: 38-44)
The resurrection of Lazarus is similar, in some ways, to the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. There was “a cave, and a stone,” and a “dead man came out…”
But Lazarus’s resurrection was also quite different from our Lord’s, which happened in silence. Differently from the Lord, Lazarus received new life through the spoken Word of God: Our Lord said, “Take away the stone,” and prayed to the Father. And finally, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
But none of these words needed to be spoken, in the case of the glorious Resurrection of the eternal Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ. Because in the case of the God-Man, the very Source of Life was, indeed, dead in “a cave,” and sealed with “a stone,” – but death “could not hold Him” (Acts 2: 24). His very divine essence, as Giver of Life and Vanquisher of Death, overcomes death, – in silence. His own, divine essence “speaks” for Him, overcoming death.
So let me depend on Christ’s all-powerful, life-giving word a little bit more today, as we enter this Holy Week of His passion and resurrection. He can, and does, “take away the stone” from my heart, regardless of the long-standing “stench” or other obstacles I’ve accumulated in my less-than-perfect Lent. O Lord, “unbind” me, and "let me go," toward the upcoming Holy Week and Pascha. Amen!