Reading 1 Ez 37:12-14
Thus says the Lord GOD:
O my people, I will open your graves
and have you rise from them,
and bring you back to the land of Israel.
Then you shall know that I am the LORD,
when I open your graves and have you rise from them,
O my people!
I will put my spirit in you that you may live,
and I will settle you upon your land;
thus you shall know that I am the LORD.
I have promised, and I will do it, says the LORD.
Open our graves. Literally we will be given life. We will rise like Jesus because we are God’s people. He is defeating death for us. His own Spirit will be in us, and that gives us so much more of a reason to live and have hope. To know that God loves me so much that He is bringing me back to life is unfathomable. It makes me want to shout for joy and jump up and down. It really encourages me to want to live a better life since God is so heavily involved and so close to me. I value my own life and others’ more knowing God is dwelling in me/them.
I do also think of the times when I do not feel alive. All those moments where we feel defeated, let down, and did not have the strength to keep going. The thing is that if God wants us so badly to be alive then we must push through. We have to believe in the promises because God says He will do it. I want to be more fully alive and want others to experience that, too. Life is precious, and every moment is a gift to enjoy.
Reading 2 Rom 8:8-11
Brothers and sisters:
Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh;
on the contrary, you are in the spirit,
if only the Spirit of God dwells in you.
Whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you,
although the body is dead because of sin,
the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
the one who raised Christ from the dead
will give life to your mortal bodies also,
through his Spirit dwelling in you.
Sometimes I am in the flesh, and other times I am in the Spirit, but I always want to be in the Spirit. The flesh is the drunkenness, lust, greed, pride, and every ugly thing that keeps us in chains. These are the sins when we choose selfishness over what right and of God. Being of the flesh is taking part in the vicious cycle of being a slave to the body instead of God, but the body is dead. Only when we are of the Spirit will we be living and free, free from the traps and snares the devil sets up for us to take us away from our Savior. When we choose to get out of the rut of sinning and being unhappy, it will feel as if a weight was lifted from our shoulders. With that, nothing can stop us.
Gospel Jn 11:1-45
Now a man was ill, Lazarus from Bethany,
the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
Mary was the one who had anointed the Lord with perfumed oil
and dried his feet with her hair;
it was her brother Lazarus who was ill.
So the sisters sent word to him saying,
“Master, the one you love is ill.”
when Jesus heard this he said,
“This illness is not to end in death,
but is for the glory of God,
that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So when he heard that he was ill,
he remained for two days in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to his disciples,
“Let us go back to Judea.”
The disciples said to him,
“Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you,
and you want to go back there?”
“Are there not twelve hours in a day?
If one walks during the day, he does not stumble,
because he sees the light of this world.
But if one walks at night, he stumbles,
because the light is not in him.”
He said this, and then told them,
“Our friend Lazarus is asleep,
but I am going to awaken him.”
So the disciples said to him,
“Master, if he is asleep, he will be saved.”
But Jesus was talking about his death,
while they thought that he meant ordinary sleep.
So then Jesus said to them clearly,
“Lazarus has died.
And I am glad for you that I was not there,
that you may believe.
Let us go to him.”
So Thomas, called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples,
“Let us also go to die with him.”
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, only about two miles away.
And many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary
to comfort them about their brother.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you.”
Jesus said to her,
“Your brother will rise.”
Martha said to him,
“I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus told her,
“I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?”
She said to him, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”
When she had said this,
she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying,
“The teacher is here and is asking for you.”
As soon as she heard this,
she rose quickly and went to him.
For Jesus had not yet come into the village,
but was still where Martha had met him.
So when the Jews who were with her in the house comforting her
saw Mary get up quickly and go out,
they followed her,
presuming that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him,
she fell at his feet and said to him,
“Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jews who had come with her weeping,
he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
“Where have you laid him?”
They said to him, “Sir, come and see.”
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.”
But some of them said,
“Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?”
So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”
Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him,
“Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days.”
Jesus said to her,
“Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone.
And Jesus raised his eyes and said,
“Father, I thank you for hearing me.
I know that you always hear me;
but because of the crowd here I have said this,
that they may believe that you sent me.”
And when he had said this,
He cried out in a loud voice,
“Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man came out,
tied hand and foot with burial bands,
and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
So Jesus said to them,
“Untie him and let him go.”
Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary
and seen what he had done began to believe in him.
I could not honestly tell you what I would do if I saw a dead man come out and start walking after being in a tomb for 4 days. This story has been told a lot, but think about it…..It should be! Jesus has this healing and life-giving power that is overwhelming. I am sitting here questioning why I do not trust Him as much as I should. If He is raising people from the dead, I’m pretty sure I can leave my daily life problems up to Him to solve. I am also just in such awe and need to worship more for the pure sense of worship since His might should be revered. It is humbling to hear Jesus’ power and makes me want to die to self. I truly believe that He can take every dead part of me and infuse life. I need spiritual resurrection and to just surrender myself to Christ knowing that I can be remolded, renewed, and remade. Jesus transforms, and I want to give in to the change so I can more fully glorify Him and make His Kingdom known.