During one of my quality quiet times with the Lord, it dawned on me; I found the story of Lazarus’s death and resurrection a simple, yet profound illustration of Salvation, that is, the unresponsiveness of those “dead” in their sin and the Call to Life by the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Interestingly timed” (please note the quotations), at the raining down and organization of Scripture verses, I happen to type in “Lazarus” online, and realized there was a movie entitled, “The Lazarus Effect”. Therefore, instead of waiting to edit a slew of other blog entries, including this one, I figured this would be the opportune time to share the real Lazarus effect.
Like Lazarus, we were DEAD:
“…Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” (John 11:11-15 NIV)
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…” (Ephesians 2:1 NIV)
Like those mourning the death of Lazarus, we were ALL unresponsive, unwilling, and unable to respond to that which is Alive:
“On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.” (John 11:17-19 NIV)
“As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.’” (Romans 3:10-12 NIV)
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 NIV)
“The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:7-8 NIV)
“They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.” (Ephesians 4:18-19 NIV)
Like the Call to Life to Lazarus, those who have been Called [by name] were also made Alive by Christ:
“…Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face…” (John 11:43-44a NIV)
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 1:1-4 NIV)
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16 NIV)
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 NIV)
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Ephesians 1:4-6 NIV)
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV)
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6 NIV)
“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 NIV)
In closing, “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11:25-26 NIV) If so, then, He has Called you. If not, then you are dead; and if you feel in any way uncomfortable, I pray that that is what I phrase, “the contractions of your Calling.”
May the Lord be glorified.