Will you risk losing what he gave to you?
If you lose your cell phone, and you go for four days without it, and then your husband finds it in the planter by the front door, you will probably learn your lesson and keep better track of that phone. You won't let it get far from your purse.
If you lose your credit card, and you don't know where it is for four days, and you have to make all the calls, and then the barrista at Starbucks calls you and says you left it on the table, you will make sure you never do that again. You won't take it out of your wallet.
If you lose your kid, and he's missing for four hours, and you're frantic and panicked and about to lose you mind, and then a neighbor finds him walking with a stranger, and brings him home, you will tie a leash around his waist and make sure they're never out of your sight again.
If you lose your life, and you're dead for four days, and then Jesus brings you back to life, you may determine that you will do whatever it takes to protect yourself from disease, from ill health, from danger, and from anything that might threaten to take life away from you again. And you would lock yourself away in your house, in a big antiseptic bubble, and wear gloves.
And you'd be wrong.
I wonder if Lazarus ever thought about these words from Jesus: "Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." I wonder if he thought, What if it's my second life? Does that count?
If you have been handed your life back after it was taken away, would you hoard it and protect it and keep it in a little bottle so that no one could ever take it from you again? Or would you give it up?
We're going to get real serious now. We've been at this thing for over twenty days. We've been celebrating new life. And it's fun, and it should be.
But it's not yours. You've been handed a life, one you didn't deserve, and it belongs to the one who gave it to you. And in order to keep it, to hang onto it, to make sure it's not ripped away from your hands by the Ultimate Enemy, you can't keep it; you're going to have to give it up. You're going to have to give it back to the one who gave it to you. It's the only way to make sure you will keep it.
Yeah - it doesn't make sense.
When Lazarus finally got around to asking the question -- What now? -- I think he must have considered the options. Keep it safe, don't take any risks, use a lot - A LOT - of hand sanitizer, and never, ever hang out with those Jesus fanatics who are just looking to get themselves killed. Or . . .
Or lay my life down; surrender it, sacrifice it, call it done, and give it over completely to Jesus.
One way you'll save it. One way you'll lose it. Again.
Suggested Scripture For Today: Matthew 16:21-28
1. Give something precious away.
2. Make a plan to give time to a stranger or a needy person. Don't make it easy. Pick something to do or someone to help that you don't really like.
3. Do something embarrassingly silly and childish.
4. Express your love for someone in a way that is uncomfortable for you, but is easy to see for them.
Happy Mothers' Day, (if that applies, and you celebrate the day),