Monday, March 26, 2007

Sin's consequence and God's revulsion.

Fifth Sunday of Lent 2007: Third RCIA Scrutiny
Mass Readings: Cycle A
Ez 37:12-14
Romans 8:8-11
John 11:1-45

Jesus' raising Lazarus from the dead is a miracle that stands alone in it's immensity. Our English cannot truly convey what is happening as Jesus goes to the tomb of his beloved friend.

In this event we are given an insight into God's utter horror and offense at what sin has brought to His beautiful creation. Death is the horrible reality of sin. Jesus the Son of God is offended and angry over it. English translates that Jesus was "perturbed" and "deeply troubled". However, Jesus' reaction is far deeper than that. Jesus/God the Son is shaken by our sinfulness to the point that the Spirit convulses and rolls and is sickened by the consequences of sin. In response, Jesus will suspend the laws of nature and restore the flesh of Lazarus that is now infected by corruption and decay. This miracle is beyond Jesus' turning water into wine or curing the sick. Jesus will actually reverse death and reanimate dead, decayed flesh into new matter and reunite soul with body. This is too much to fully wrap our head around. Jesus resurrects Lazarus' mind, body, and spirit!

This isn't like watching a movie where the dead are brought back to life through a medical marvel. This is beyond restarting someones heart with a defibrillator. Jesus cannot stand to look upon what sin has done to God's perfect creation. As a result, Jesus gives us a foretaste of God's plan to resurrect all who confess Jesus as Lord. What Jesus does for Lazarus he will do for us on the Last Day.

God cannot bear our succumbing to sin. God is utterly offended by what we have brought upon ourselves. Instead of leaving us to sin and death, Jesus transforms us through his sacrifice upon the cross. Through Jesus' death, burial and resurrection, we are restored to perfection. I mean perfection by the salvation of our soul and the promise of bodily resurrection and restoration. We will be restored to the beauty and perfection that we were given when God breathed life into us.

Yes our temporal body will still suffer corruption. Even Jesus experienced the frailty of the human body. However, our soul is freed and restored by our faith in Jesus. Our soul is kept and held by God the Father. But the salvation of our soul is but one part of God's gift. Our body is just as precious to God and God has promised that we will be made whole in the resurrection of the Last Day. Hallelujah!

Jesus, angered by sin and death, cries out to Lazarus and commands that he be resurrected. Jesus yells in the face of sin and death and conquers it. Lazarus becomes the proof that God is in control. And Jesus will go even further. Jesus will suffer and die on the cross and be buried. Jesus will take upon himself our sin and death. Jesus will free us from our sin and give us eternal life. In an inconceivable act, Jesus will be resurrected. God will raise God's self from the dead! This is the ultimate sign that God is life!

Today we are Lazarus. We gather today with our soul restored to perfection because of Jesus' sacrifice. We are Lazarus today in the fact that not only will our soul be welcomed into Paradise but our soul will be reunited with our body and we will spend eternity as God's perfect creation.

Let us live as a people of The Resurrection. Let us respect life as truly the gift God intended it to be. We are reborn in Christ and we will be resurrected on the Last Day because Jesus is Lord!