5th SUN LENT – “What would you say to Jesus…?”
This came up at a Saturday lunch conversation. “What would you say to Jesus if you were raised from the dead after four days?” I asked that this morning at our celebration of the 5th Sunday of Lent. I heard a chorus of “thank you!” That’s sweet. However, think about it…
It’s now four days since you died. Decomposition has already set in. You smell. You look like death. You will not have a resurrected body nor will the world have become suddenly a “Sound of Music” production.
Here’s what we came up with as responses to Jesus raising us from the dead: “What the…” “Why did you do this! I was peaceful for the first time!” “Oh, (expletive deleted)!” “So, where were you four days ago?”
Paintings like the one above don’t seem to take that side of things into consideration. Other than needing time in the tanning bed, Lazarus looks pretty good there. I used to assume he would have picked up his life when he was healthy and that all would be hunky-dory from then on. Really?
So, what were Martha & Mary to do with him? Leave him out back because he smelled terribly? We may assume that he would have been good ol’ Laz at heart. But, he had been dead inside and out. That’s gotta change a person. Suddenly, he was only kinda the brother of M&M. Now he was mainly an object of curiosity. What a way to live, eh?
I was taught that John’s history also refers to spiritual and sacramental realities. Here, it seems to be about life and death in this life. Feeling dead inside, it’s no wonder you and I would want to remain in the dark, dank protection of the tomb. “Come forth!” Yeah, right.