Zooming in and out of a picture or story gives us different perspectives. When we zoom out of the story of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, we see the story that Jesus is living. The story of walking toward death for the sake of life.
As soon as Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, the plot to kill Jesus begins. Even as he is bringing resurrection and life back to this community, he is walking toward his death that will lead to resurrection and life for all people. What Jesus did in the life of one man, in a community in Bethany, he will do for the world.
We live zoomed in on our stories. And when we have to wait, we are restless for what is to come. While we wait, we are all tempted.
Even Jesus was tempted (Luke 4:1–13). Our temptations can include making things happen out of sync with life and God’s timing, withdrawing and isolating as we turn in on ourselves and exclude others, or denying what is happening. Or maybe even more practical things such as: overeating or over drinking, bursts of anger, or lethargy with work that needs to be done. Sometimes our waiting will be for a few days and for other things a lifetime. Waiting is hard. But it does not have to be done alone. As with any temptation, the invitation from Jesus is to pour ourselves out to him, to know him more deeply, to wait in community, and to get any other help we need.
as we wait
Martha, Mary, and the community had to wait for the resurrection of Lazarus. The disciples and the women at the cross had to wait for the resurrection of Jesus. Life from death requires waiting. As we wait, we prepare for what we know, and we rest. Key word: rest.
When the women at the cross saw Jesus’s body taken down, they followed it to the tomb and watched how it was laid (Luke 23:50–55). Then they went back home and prepared ointments and spices for the body of Jesus. They stayed present with what they knew and prepared for what was to come. Then the women rested according to the commandment of the Sabbath (Luke 23:56).
The invitation that is extended to us is to rest. Rest from our worries, rest from solving the problems, rest from idle busyness that makes us feel better because at least there is some type of movement. Rest in the provision of Jesus, trusting that resurrection will come in its time.
what are you waiting for?
For some things, resurrection will come in this life. For other things, we will have to wait until the final resurrection when all things are made new and death is no longer. While we wait, we grieve, we rest, and we remain in the present while preparing for the future.
What are you waiting to see resurrected? Is it a marriage? A relationship? A loved one’s life? Maybe it is the spiritual life of another? Or maybe it is your own life?