For most of us, the Lazarus account is a very profound analogy of our new lives in Christ Jesus. Hardly any of us have really been brought back to life after four days of being dead.
At least I haven't. So I can only begin to imagine Lazarus' reactions and emotions. How did he feel when he heard his name? What was his reaction to being loosed from the strips of cloth that held him tight? And this question keeps coming to me: What happened when those who were tending to Lazarus finally began to unwrap his neck, his head, his mouth, his eyes.
That moment right there.
The moment when the final wrap, perhaps with some padding, was undone from around his head, and his eyelids fluttered, and his pupils went ballistic at the daylight, and the blur of morbidity cleared, and his eyes adjusted to life, and . . .
Eye to eye. Face to face. Jesus staring right into his brain, into his heart, into the core of him--now alive. Is that a smile on Jesus' face? Are those tears streaking his cheeks? Is that forgiveness in his features? Is that love--right there--in his eyes?
If Jesus had brought Lazarus out of the grave and then left before the rags were removed, I think Lazarus would have been changed. He would have lived differently, and would have made the most out of his second-chance life.
But I think Lazarus was changed more by that one look than anything else that happened to him that day. I think that look wrecked him. As John in Revelation, Lazarus may have thought he was going to drop dead again, right there.
That look is powerful. Why do you think so many gospel songs talk about seeing Jesus? Having him look into our eyes. Telling us to look into his?
Turn your eyes upon Jesus.Look full in his wonderful face.And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,In the light of his glory and grace.
It's a nice analogy. But I think it's more than that.
We have spiritual eyes that allow us to see him. And that sight can change us forever.
Whatever this Experiment does--whatever changes you make, habits you start, alterations in attitude that result--the one thing that supersedes all else is seeing Jesus.
If The Lazarus Experiment does anything, I want it to reacquaint me to that moment. I was blind, but now I see. I was in a pit, and he rescued me. I was poor and helpless and wounded and dead, and he called my name and brought me out. And I have looked him in the eyes, and I can never be the same.
Everything we do as a part of this exercise springs from that moment. What difference will it make to you?
Suggested Scripture For Today: Revelation 22:1-5 (Ask yourself - what does this picture remind you of?)
If Jesus were your sibling, or husband/wife, or very close friend, and he wasn't with you physically, you'd probably write him a letter, and part of the letter would include telling him how much you would love to see him in person. Write that letter.
Spend ten minutes with your eyes closed and imagine being Lazarus and opening your eyes to the wonder of Jesus' gaze. How would that change you? What would be different?
Someone helped get Lazarus out of the rags and into the presence of Jesus. Someone helped you, too, to see Jesus clearly. Have you thanked them, lately?
If you're artistic (and even if you're not), can you draw a picture, or take a photo, or write a poem, or a song, describing and illustrating looking into the eyes of Jesus? If you do, POST IT SO WE CAN SEE IT!
Question of the Day: What would Lazarus have done with Jesus' ride on a donkey into Jerusalem? Where was he at that time, do you think? What was his sense of that moment?
We are 25% into this thing! Don't get discouraged - you're doing great. Keep up your spirits, look to Jesus, and tell us about what's going on. The best way to get the most benefit from this endeavor is to interact with each other online. Don't worry about missing some days, just jump in when you can.
On day ten I found myself incredibly busy running about and chose to spend a bit of time with me and Jesus and most of the day with Little Boy. I tried so hard to think about how being raised from the dead would look and I decided to put day 10's assignment off to another day and go back to day nine and complete it. What I came up with was pretty good stuff really...
My day Nine response on Day 10I took the majority of the day yesterday and rested. I was exhausted from the weekend and needed some time to regroup and restore. However, the afternoon was different and I feel compelled to include my activities from yesterday as they are and were a complete and total Lazarus moment.
We had a meeting Monday afternoon with little boy's counselor and after having asked repeatedly for little boy to do his work, he had continued to ignore me and his responsibilities.
I kind of lost it at the counselor's office... I cannot continue to feel more responsibility for his success than he does - conversely - the old adage "Your children are a direct reflection of who you are and what you've taught." haunts me.
I am not lazy and my biggest fear - seriously - my BIGGEST fear is letting someone down. I can't say I've never let anyone down, but I try, with everything in me, not to. It's a tough place.
Just after having lost it with LB's counselor, I was invited to participate in a group that meets at the office where LB goes. It was a group of people who are Duelly Diagnosed (addiction and some sort of mental illness) and are trying to live cleanly through dedication to and in recognition of a higher power. They were wonderful. All of them "broken" and yet I saw some incredible growth in these people and saw my own pathway to living more freely through God. What an incredible blessing to me! Their new lives feel like hell to them sometimes and yet they couldn't be more grateful! How inspiring to me! I have had my own "crosses to bear" which to me have been back breaking. In comparison, it's NOTHING. I'm so grateful to God for the life I've led and the troubles I've seen and the faith that He would always carry me through. I've not needed a crutch or a "momma's little helper" to get through it all. I've always known that some how the Lord would ALWAYS carry me through it. I came out of the meeting incredibly blessed....
I suppose my true Lazarus moment was the spontaneity of attendance with the fulfillment it provided. I think Laz would have accepted that invitation too. Not in hopes of contributing or leading anyone to a deeper relationship but simply just to be closer to God.