Lenten Devotional, Feb. 24 - by Pastor Lars Olson

Art Reflection on “I AM the Resurrection and the Life.”

Life is the promise we receive in Jesus Christ. Before He arrived death ruled, but in Christ death is displaced and its rule ended. Who could have guessed? Certainly not Mary or Martha. When Jesus arrived they were already bound by the power of death. “Lord, don’t take away the stone. The stench of death is here” (John 11:39). But the Resurrection and the Life had arrived, and death’s power and rule was now displaced. 

Lazarus could not stay in the tomb when Jesus voice called to him. Martha could not longer remain bound in grief. Jesus brought the promise of life that would not be deterred even by the warning signs of death- the stone covering the tomb and the smell. 

The scene touches the senses. The confrontation between death and resurrection is seen, heard, touched, smelled, and wrought with emotion. Fear and sadness, tears and weeping, anger and powerlessness all mingled together. Until the battle is won. Death to life, bound to unbound, fear to joy, weeping to wonder, sadness to stunned, awe filled, surprise. 

The Lent midweek worship for this week is an amazing confluence of God’s Word, art, and reflection. Paul Oman was here this past Wednesday to bring the scripture “I Am the Resurrection and the Life” to life through his art. Come to the First Lutheran Atrium to reflect on the two perspectives he provides for us, to see through art the word that we hear in Jesus Christ. “Those who live and believe in me never die.”

Let us pray: Lord God, in your love for us you give us life in Jesus Christ. Break through the barriers and boundaries that bind us from believing your promise to us in Jesus Christ, that we would believe in him for life that never ends. Amen.