(John 11:25-26 KJV) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believeth in me shall never die. Believe thou this?
Of all of the emotions that one may experience in life, death seems to arouse a wider range of emotions than any other. The emotions regarding death may range from anger to questioning why.
When Lazarus died, the emotions of Martha and Mary were like a roller coaster. Even though both girls had a measure of faith, we still hear the question why in each of their conversations with Jesus. However, one of those whys seems to be accusatory and the other why seems to be of faith.
Jesus tried to explain to Martha and Mary that death is not always death, but they did not seemed to get it. He then had a show and tell demonstration to prove His point by raising Lazarus from the dead.
My intention in writing this Meditation is certainly not to minimize the miracle of raising the dead. My intention is to merely point out that there are other important lessons in that story that need to be learned.
One of those lessons is how Lazarus’ death seem to uncover who Martha and Mary really were on the inside. As sad as it may seem, pressure is the only way to truly uncover one’s true self.
A couple of days ago I was upstairs in my office working when I heard my wife calling … “John, come down. Dick and Suzanne are here.” Dick is my brother-in-law. The right hand man in his business had just died and he was stopping by after the funeral.
This man’s name was Paul and he was only fifty-three years old when he suddenly dropped dead. Because of his sudden death everyone seemed to be left numb. My brother-in-law had been grooming Paul to eventually take over his business.
The question that seems to always be accompanying this type of death is why?
The next morning after Paul’s funeral, I read in our Express News that Gertrude Weaver (the world’s oldest person) had just died in Arkansas. She was 116 years old and they said she enjoyed being read the news articles about being the oldest person on the planet. I am quite sure that no one asked the question why when Mrs. Weaver died.
I have come to the conclusion that death is a mystery that everybody thinks they can explain but nobody can truly understand. As far as one’s emotions go…who really knows how we will react under certain circumstances. Losing a baby draws on one set of emotions whereas losing a 116 year old mother draws on another set of emotions. I think the point is that we need to give grace to everyone under the emotional stress of the loss of a loved one. Perhaps the death of a loved one really does not uncover our true self after all.
Give us more understanding and grace on the issue of death and the roller coaster emotions that often accompany it. Help us Lord not to judge or take to heart any words that come from those who are in a state of shock because of the loss of a loved one. Help our whys to only be faith whys and not accusatory whys.