Life in Danger
It seems to me that this week we begin our journey into danger – our journey to the cross. As we begin this journey I wonder what we/I think this is all about? What does it mean for Jesus to die for my/our sins?
Too often this gets reduced to “so that I/we can get into heaven”. But is that really all this is about?
N.T. Wright in “The Day the Revolution Began” suggests that this understanding of the cross is a pagan understanding that has nothing to do with the Biblical understanding. Jesus, the gospel writers and Paul, he says, were all about the renewal of the earth and renewal of the people of God as image bearers.
In this Sundays gospel reading (John 11:1-45) Jesus says that he is the resurrection and the life. Too often we drop “life” out of this and just read “resurrection” as refereeing to something happening later after we die. But this is all about now. Mary, Martha and Lazarus are invited to live life now in God’s image. And so are we.
Howard Wallace offers us these thoughts.
“Today’s gospel reading, the story of the raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45), has obvious and clear parallels to the Ezekiel passage. …. Together, they challenge our thinking about the full significance of resurrection in Jesus Christ. Resurrection is not simply a matter of being raised from the dead, and in Lazarus’ case it is a unique case for presumably Lazarus would have died again at some later time. Resurrection is not simply concerned with the ‘after life’ but with the raising of broken spirits, of bodies as good as dead, of hearts that lack strength and courage, of communities that are fractured, of relationships that have waned or become fractious, of peoples who have lost hope etc. While Ezekiel’s vision may not have direct connection to resurrection in the way we might normally see it, it does remind us that the resurrection that is in Jesus Christ and the risen life in him reaches to this side of the grave too giving new life and hope where there has been only ‘dry bones’ in the past.”