I’ll never forget the first time I heard Eckhart Tolle speak. As a former Adventist minister who had devoted her entire life to witnessing, I was in New York City to hear one of the most renowned speakers in the history of revival. As he opened his remarks with the words “M Restoration of the aged,” I remembered the story of Lazarus, raised from the dead. Lazarus’ ascension had also been the subject of much preachers’ sermons in the sequential sermons over the previous months. I’d been in the choir back in Sunday School and on numerous trips to the mainly black church up in Edison, New Jersey. For many years, every time I heard a news story on the subject, I was compelled to go to the site and pray that somehow, some way, somehow — the light of God would somehow elevate him to the glory of God.
The story of Lazarus had captivated my soul. It’s one of the most beautifully crafted stories in the New Testament. narrated by Martha, a faithful member of the Christian church, it beautifully fits with the Epistle audience as least familiar with the actual circumstances surrounding the death of Lazarus. In this story, Martha believed that the sacrifice of her son would at least open the ears of the devout Jews so that they might realize the error of their ways and secure the blessings of the Jews. It was much as if the Jews were listening with their hearts turned toward us. On the other hand, Lazarus’ perceived 1984 death put a strange twist on the meaning of death. It’s as if he was transferred to the infirmary of death instead of being carried into the glorious arms of God. It is perhaps for this reason that the preacher felt it so important to focal point on Lazarus’ being in the story, as if that indeed was the case.
You see, Lazarus symbolizes the Christian walk. He is the ultimateutchto our generation. His case and the necessity of his Humanity is the ultimate reason for the coming of Christ. Though there are thousands of stories in the Bible with which to illuminate the path to salvation, none of them are more moving than the story of Lazarus. In this story, Lazarus has been condemned to the realm of the dead. Fortunately, God Finds ways of changing the paradoxical law of death to acknowledge the wholeness of Judgment and the universal concept of resurrected consciousness. I believe the central theme of this story is in Moradi-ousness.
Everyone must die and will eventually be resurrected. It is but a physical death and not the end of a relationship. The Bible is clear that no born again should outlive his or her Father, if he or she understands the eternal significance of their relationship. While it is difficult to appreciate the reality of death, if ever, we can arrive to the place where we can truly realize that it is not simply the end of our lives but the beginning of something else. The place where we realize that death is no more than the transfer of the physical body whose perishable nature allows us to experience this deception is where resurrection begins.
There is no doubt that even to the depths of our conscious mind, we do not completely comprehend the reality of eternal life. The Bible does not mince words about our situation. For, in its book of Hebrews, Paul starkly proclaimed his own miss- balances on the subject. He declared that “it was he that gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare for the day of the Lord” (Hebrews 5:9-10). It was indeed the Lord himself who gave Peter the vision of the big diarius, the familiar Roman gold coin, to replace the one he had lost, which in ancient Rome was the standard of everyday income for the lower middle class. And it was the great miracle of Christmas that made him more keenly aware of the gold rather than the poor cash.
We have much to learn from the perfect balance Paul presents. And I am already surpassing that balance. I hope that you, too, can begin to add new things to your list of life lessons by studying the one Memorised by four losses. To the Lord, ourarist, may all of life be unchanging, repeated, and suited for an eternity.