March 26, 2023 — 5th Sunday of Lent
Of all Jesus’ miracles, the most unsettling might be when he made a dead person alive. We know of three times when he did so: a girl, a young man, and Lazarus. The miracle teaches us he has the power of life and death. He anticipates his resurrection. Sin hurts us. Some sin kills us, spiritually. The three miracles reveal to us that no matter our circumstances, Jesus can give life to us.
The three miracles are instructive of the three ways we feel dead. The little dead girl symbolizes sin before it has time to mature. She’s in bed and, once alive, gets right back to her life. The young man is lying in his casket in a funeral procession. This is sin allowed to fester, to grow and become somewhat normalized. Once raised, he has a short walk back home. Lazarus, a full-grown dead man, lies wrapped in burial bands in the tomb. Once he is raised, much needs to be done. He’ll need to remove those bands, find new clothes, and travel all the way back home. That is sin allowed to go all the way, unchecked for months or years. It’s the most spectacular of the three and reveals Jesus’ glory more than the others.
What hope that should give us, for us and those whom we love! Jesus knows our sin hurts us and can even kill us spiritually. No matter the extent of the damage, he is always ready for the miracle of making the dead fully alive.
— Father John Muir ©LPi