Author: Katie Brown
Think back for a minute to the story of Lazarus from John 11. Picture Jesus outside the sealed tomb, face stained with tears, and surrounded by mourners and hopelessness. In the midst of this somber moment, Jesus calls out the simple command that transforms the entire scene, “Lazarus, come out.”
Now imagine with me how different this account would have been if Lazarus, at this point fully raised from the dead, decided to stay in the tomb; if he made up his mind that he was perfectly happy there and didn’t want to move out.
It’s utterly ridiculous, right? After all what possible reason could there be for Lazarus not to come out as Jesus had commanded? It was a dark and lonely tomb versus a wide open world of new life with Jesus.
Obviously, the story didn’t end this way. Lazarus reunited with his family and his close friend Jesus and lived once again. However, this ‘what if?’ scenario isn’t as farfetched as it seems when you consider what Jesus did for us and how we often choose to live in response.
When we believe in Jesus and become His, it is nothing short of a miracle. Ephesians 2 tells us that before God intervened, we were dead in our sins. Dead people can’t make themselves alive, they are helpless and immobile in every way. Only a supernatural act of God can take a stone cold heart and make it beat again.
It’s spectacular and awe-inspiring. This is the simple Gospel that changes everything.
However even after experiencing this incredible transformation, we can be content to stay in our tomb. Jesus calls us out of the darkness and into the light, yet it can be so much easier to stay where it’s familiar, even if that means staying in our brokenness and old patterns. We can rationalize it; at least we understand and know the tomb, at least we won’t be blindsided in the tomb, and at least we can’t get hurt by the uncertain world outside of the tomb.
But God doesn’t just want to bring us back to life, we wants us to truly live. He has so much more for us than a cave of dry bones and past hurt.
In order to have the abundant life that God offers, we should take our cue from Lazarus; we need to trust Jesus, obey His voice and step into the unknown. We are able to set aside our fears when we are convinced that being with Jesus, even if that means venturing into places we never thought we’d go, is infinitely more valuable than anything else.
When we accept His bold invitation we’ll discover this simple truth; that to intimately know God is to be fully alive. Once you’ve tasted that kind of real life, nothing less will ever satisfy.
Lazarus, come out.