Over the weekend I travelled to Shagz. That is not why am writing. I brought that up as an indirect way of apologizing for keeping you guys without something to read on our website. I already know you like us and we must explain anytime we take long without posting something new. Yaani relationship yetu imefikia hapo and we can only be thankful. Like a typical African, I must update you about the usual stuff you people don’t give a damn about. Upcountry was good, it is raining…et cetera.
While travelling back, something (I can’t remember what) drew my attention to the story of Lazarus and more specifically his resurrection. Lazarus’ resurrection is among the many miracles mentioned in the Bible that demonstrate our Lord’s power. I am not going to narrate the whole story because I know your Sunday/ Sabbath school teacher did a splendid job. I will highlight the important points that I want to talk about today.
Jesus learns of Lazarus death and decides to go to Bethany (Lazarus’ home town). He tells his disciples that Lazarus was just asleep. They did not comprehend what he meant. First lesson; our challenges are so small before our God. Imagine someone is dead and to Him he is just sleeping, meaning he will wake/ rise up again. God is telling us today that all those difficult situations that we think are the end of us are just too little to worry Him. He will fix them and we will rise again!
Jesus goes to Bethany four days after Lazarus’ death (and burial). Jesus actually says, ” … and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.” I think this is an answer also to a question or rather a statement one of Lazarus’ sisters makes when Jesus gets to their home. You remember Martha telling Jesus that if He (Jesus) would have been around, her brother would not have died. The greatest teacher once again reassures her that Lazarus will rise.
God works in his own time. When he thinks it is right. Not us. Sometimes I tend to think Martha was indirectly saying, “Sasa ulikuwa wapi kabla akufe?” The response is calm and comforting. So comforting you would think it is fantasy. That is our Lord. He knows when to walk in and lift us. On a lighter note, someone would call Jesus a ‘joker’. Yaani he is coming four days after Lazarus has been buried. He is already rotten and there is a foul smell in the tomb. But that is nothing to Him. The response still remains “He will rise again”.
Most times we write off others or get written off according to the situations we find ourselves in. People give up on us. We give up on people. We give up on ourselves. We give up on health, financial crises, relationships, careers, tasks, talents …name them. In our mortal understanding, there is nothing that can be done to bring back the situations mentioned above to life because they ‘have been dead for four days’. They are rotten. But Jesus is walking in to do what he does best; not just resuscitate but resurrect! When it was plain obvious you are dead financially, emotionally, politically, academically… He is just about to shock many!
Jesus tells them to take away the stone that was covering the tomb. One preacher once wondered why He couldn’t just command the stone to roll away because he was able. He had changed water into wine, healed the sick, cast out demons, calmed the storm, was about to resurrect Lazarus… So why not command the stone away and raise Lazarus instead of giving people the burden of rolling away the stone? This is my understanding, Christ wants us to be part of the process. Even our constitution talks about public participation in processes that affect the public and people have gone to court when they feel the public wasn’t involved as required in law.
Our Saviour doesn’t want to be taken to court (again…haha. This time before Maraga and not Pirate). He wants us to participate in our miracles. He wants us to do something about what we are asking for. You want Lazarus raised? Roll away the stone. I will raise him up! You want to do well in your academics, read, study well. I will help you pass! You want financial breakthrough, start a business, save, invest, start out, good health? Eat healthy, live healthy? A good relationship? Grow it, nurture it…I will lift you! Pray for the miracle you want, fast about it…but guess what, Christ is telling you that is not enough! Rise up and do something. He will do the remaining which is beyond our ability.
Lastly, when Jesus saw Lazarus’ sisters weeping, he was moved. I remember many years ago a classmate in primary school giving the shortest verse, ” Jesus wept” as her memory verse during those Saturday afternoon sessions in church and we thought it looked funny. The bible says, “… seeing them weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled”. Our Lord is a Lord of compassion. He understands how we feel when hit by challenges. He cares. And that is why he walks in to comfort, reassure, restore, reestablish and resurrect us; like he did to Lazarus. Believe!
PS: And you people doubt me when I tell you am an aspiring pope! You better not.