Our risen life!

23 Mar

The story in John’s gospel about the raising of Lazarus (Chapter 11) is very relevant to yours and my life today. I say this because it is too easy just to be amazed at the miracle of the story and have no reaction but wonder at the power of God. Yes, it is a tale about a risen and new life enabled by Jesus – but only an illustration of who He was and is now for us, all because of His entry into humanity at what we call his incarnation, and because of his completion of this with death and resurrection. He is the exemplar of true humanity and acclaims in this gospel (good news) “I am the resurrection and the life.”

In all his encounters with people in John’s gospel Jesus is seen to offer this transformation to a risen reality in unity with God. This is shown in the storeys unique to John’s gospel. The first is symbolic with the changing of water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. Again he wants to renew the worship in the temple – which needs it. But he also speaks of the temple of his human body being transformed. In his conversation with Nicodemus he speaks of a new life in the spirit – be born again. To a Samaritan woman at the well he can give the water of new life. He restores the life of a sick man at Bethsaida to the almost anger of those in authority, then later at a miraculous feeding of crowds says “I am the bread of Life” if you believe you will have eternal life, saying in verse 12 of Chapter 8, follow me and you will have the light of life. And the cure of the blind man gives a sign again of the new life that belief in Jesus can bring. “Follow me… I give eternal life” he says in chapter 10.  All this in John’s gospel comes to a head with Lazarus and later to a climax with Jesus’ death which in this Gospel is a completion rather than a termination.

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