Sunday 29 March 2020
Ezekiel 37:12-14. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption – Psalm 129(130). Romans 8:8-11. John 11:1-45.
‘I am the resurrection and the life.’
John’s account of Jesus bringing Lazarus back to life provokes a strong reaction. Lazarus and his family are friends of Jesus. Martha and Mary are sisters to Lazarus, with Mary the one who had anointed Jesus. The sisters want Jesus to know that their brother is gravely ill. When Jesus finally arrives among them, Lazarus has been dead four days.
Martha declares her faith to Jesus. Jesus replies with a proclamation: ‘I am the resurrection and the life’. Later, when they get to the tomb, Mary is weeping, and in turn Jesus too weeps. Those gathered are astonished at the depth of his love. United with his Father, Jesus calls Lazarus back to life: ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man comes out, bound in burial clothes. Jesus gives Lazarus both life and freedom: ‘unbind him and let him go.’ As we hear this Gospel proclaimed let’s pause in awe.