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Resurrection and Death

March 29, 2021

“Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.” John 12:1

On this Monday of Holy Week, one can see how it could have all played out differently. The crowds welcomed Jesus when he entered Jerusalem in triumph. Why did they turn on him? John tells that part of the story, which happens just before the events of Palm Sunday in the Gospel text appointed for today. The religious leaders begin their plot to kill Jesus because he raised Lazarus from the dead.

They wanted to kill Jesus because Jesus had power over death.

You’d think they would have welcomed such a thing! If death were defeated, we could stop living in fear. Lazarus is alive! Death has no more power!

The problem, of course, is that death is how power keeps power in this world. Even today, we know this is true. Today, in Minneapolis, the trial of George Floyd’s killer started. Power uses death to keep power. Will justice be done?

The story of Holy Week is the movement from death to resurrection. But it begins as a story of resurrection leading to death. Because Jesus claimed power over death, he had to be killed.

Little did they know that you can’t keep a God-man down. Jesus’ death would open the floodgates, drowning the forces of death just as the Egyptians had been cast into the sea long before. Today we see Mary anoint Jesus, preparing his body for burial. He had the audacity to proclaim life, and words will bring him death. But that’s not end of the story.

Today, with Mary, we fill the world with the fragrant love of our worship. Today, we remember that in a world that values death, God values life. Today, we remember that Jesus reverses the story. Where once life led to death, now death leads to life. Abundant and eternal. On both sides of the grave.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

Lord of Life, you entered into suffering to bring comfort, into death to bring life. May our lives bear witness to your love. We pour out our lives at your feet. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Image: Christ in the House of Simon, Dieric Bouts, 1440s (public domain).

From → COVID-19, Lent/Easter

2 Comments
  1. Sandy Lentz permalink

    “Power uses death to keep power” says it all.

  2. Paul Haberstock permalink

    Might you have intended to write begins as a story *of insurrection* leading to death

    Paul Haberstock

    On Mon, Mar 29, 2021 at 12:49 PM Grace Upon Grace wrote:

    > Dave Lyle posted: “”Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, > the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.” John 12:1 On this > Monday of Holy Week, one can see how it could have all played out > differently. The crowds welcomed Jesus when he entered Jerusa” >

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