Lenten Devotional, Feb. 27 - by Pastor Lars Olson

Pastoral reflection on “I AM the Resurrection and the Life”

“He died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them” - 2 Corinthians 5:15 Jesus stayed away from Lazarus for four days. He was dead, and when Jesus finally arrived Martha was overcome with grief, “You should have been here! He didn’t need to die!” Death has a way of trapping us in ourselves, because it shows us our limit, end, the boundary of our being. In death we are confronted with our creaturely mortality and the bare truth that we are not God. Martha is trapped in herself, in her misunderstanding. Jesus was not slow in arriving, but came at just the right time to free Lazarus, Martha, and us from the grave’s trap and death’s power. It is common to believe that resurrection is a reality for a time somewhere in the future at a place distant and unknown. There is a hope for a better life out there (wherever that may be). Jesus Christ, however, arrives to tell us something different. Resurrection is not an unknown place or time, and it is not an idea or vague hope. Unbelievably, resurrection is a person, on earth, in time. Jesus Christ himself is the resurrection and the life. Wherever he is, the resurrection life is. Yet it gets even more strange, for the Resurrection himself will be killed. The very act of raising Lazarus caused such a commotion that “from that day forward they planned to put him to death” (John 11:53). The confrontation between life and death is underway. The Resurrection and the Life has come to bring an end to this creation’s death wish, to go beyond the limits of death. That is to put death to death by the death of the Resurrection. We are in a very weird territory here. God is in the flesh. Resurrection is a man. Death is dying. And Christians live a new life, not just in heaven (out there wherever, sometime) but here and now. When Christ Jesus arrives, there is the resurrection. Your new life is now in Christ. For he has died our death, that we would live his resurrected life. Now. Here. Without limit or end. Forever and ever. Amen.

Lord God, grant us again this day your Word of promise and life in Christ that we would live the resurrection life. Amen.