Recently I read a number of accounts of restoration and resurrection in the Bible. Surprisingly, none of them were in the Easter story. What I was reminded about, though, is that God has always been in the business of restoring and resurrecting.
The account that stood out to the most was the story of the resurrection of Lazarus. Yes, Jesus waited until Lazarus was dead to make his way to Bethany, but when he got there he fully entered into the situation, listening to and comforting Lazarus’ sisters, Martha and Mary. Jesus allowed his grief to align with their grief, since he dearly loved this family. It was from this place of empathetic union that formed an environment where healing could flow, even resurrection.
Jesus wasn’t the disaffected physician or the practitioner seeking to simply fix their problem. He loved them on purpose. Yes, he knew that by bringing Lazarus back from death would cause many to believe in him, but that didn’t stop him from loving his friends because they were his friends.
It is interesting that this resurrection story occurs just weeks before the Easter story, and is but one of many instances that Jesus brought people back from death. This speaks to me that resurrection and restoration are vital aspects of the mission of God’s kingdom and are, as Jesus exampled, an outcome of love. As a mission of God’s kingdom, it is also a mission of the people that make up that kingdom.
Looking forward to Easter, the purpose behind our many Easter events is to bring about an environment of love where restoration and resurrection can take place. May this be a vital part of all our preparations and planning. It is only fitting for the people of God’s kingdom.
Grace and peace,
When Jesus saw her crying and the Jews who had come with her crying also, he was deeply disturbed and troubled. He asked, “Where have you laid him?”
They replied, “Lord, come and see.”
Jesus began to cry. The Jews said, “See how much he loved him!”