The miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead is a beautiful story: one which not only reveals the glory of God, but also it is one which gives us hope – hope in the face of death – hope for our own resurrection. It makes us think about our own journey: our baptism, our life, our death, and the promise of eternal life.
We find out that the dead man, Lazarus, had been entombed for four days. It is interesting that some Rabbis taught that the life force hovered about the dead for up to four days and then decay would set in. The four days emphasized that Lazarus was certainly dead. No human act would be able to bring him back to life. Jesus, however, had the power to do so. Martha knew this! As she ran to meet Jesus, she expressed her belief that God is truly present and at work in him “God will give you whatever you ask” and “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” She recognized the Divinity of God in Jesus, the One sent to reveal the Father, long before He performed this sign, this miracle. What faith!
Mary, on the other hand, felt that if Jesus would have arrived earlier, He could have prevented her brother’s death. She did not understand that Jesus came not to avert a death, but to reveal that God conquers death itself, and does so through his powerful Word made flesh in Jesus.
Are we like Martha? Do we recognize and understand that our earthly death is not an end and that Jesus is truly the Messiah. By faith in Him, we have eternal life.