getting out the WORD

the fifth sunday in lent

the PRAYER …

Almighty God, your Son came into the world to free us all from sin and death. Breathe upon us the power of your Spirit, that we may be raised to new life in Christ and serve you in righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

John 11:1-45


I’d never, really, given it much thought. What happened to Lazarus, after he was raised. One moment, he’s dead, lying in a cave, stone over the entrance. The next, he’s alive! Unbound! Let go! All because of Jesus! That’s all we’re told. That and the fact that the authorities wanted to get rid of Lazarus as much as they wanted to get rid of Jesus. Evidently, turning water into wine is one thing. Raising the dead is something else, entirely.

Then, at seminary, we started splitting hairs. Resuscitation. That’s what some call it. Lazarus’ heart started beating, again. His lungs began breathing. Blood flowing. But that was only temporary. He would go on to die … again. Bound, a second time. Wrapped, once more. Placed, yet again, in the tomb. Waiting – like any of us – for the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Was Lazarus killed along with Jesus? Did he live, for a while, only to die a second time? Or is he one of the immortals? Never dying? Living forever? Among us still? The story doesn’t tell us. All it says is that Jesus is the resurrection and the life. And apparently, that was enough! Maybe, even, more than enough!

Bob Barndt, pastor