"You Will Live"
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die…” John 11:25 NIV
When we talk about Christ, we talk about life, death and resurrection. I talk with many people via phone calls, emails, text messages, messenger, Facebook, WhatsApp and, if allowed these days because of the pandemic, face-to-face (or, mask-to-mask). So many people are hurting one way or another these days. The pandemic this year has made things even harder all around the world. Also, the holidays are particularly hard for people who experienced losses whether recently or a long time ago, especially the loss of a loved one. For those amongst us, while everyone else is celebrating and smiling during the holidays, they may be finding ways and excuses to stay away from others in order to deal with their losses and grief.
While our Christian faith points to a God who is always present and gives us eternal life, the pain of loss drives us to ask the question, “Where is God in all this?”
As I pondered again upon these words Jesus said to Martha and Mary referencing to their brother’s death, I was reminded of a couple of things. First, Jesus felt in his spirit and soul the loss of a close friend and wept. Lazarus had died. And second, Jesus is also referring to the life that is renewed in those who are left behind.
As human beings, acknowledging the pain and suffering of loss can help in the healing process. Weeping is part of the human response to the pain that cannot be explained by words. Though we have questions, the answers will never suffice to appease the void in us left behind when we lose our mom, dad, son, daughter, grandpa, grandma… Jesus wept along with Martha, Mary, and friends.
Jesus’ bold statement to Martha and Mary that “those who die will live” refers to those who died, yet it is also directed to those who are left behind. When a loved one dies, something within us also dies. And Jesus is boldly encouraging all of us by saying what is dead will come back to life - perhaps life in a different way but life, nonetheless, “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.”
During these holidays, claim the words of Jesus in your life. What has died within you will live, because Jesus is our resurrection for today, as well. You will live!
Peace and Healing.
Rev. Ed Volfe