“So, will you address the Lazarus resurrection issue, now?”
Yes I will.
This is the end of one conversation and the beginning of another.
The verses relevant to the “Lazarus resurrection issue” are:
Many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.” John 11:19-27
Dear Ark –
I remember – as a young boy – sitting up in the middle of the night watching “man land on the moon” for the very first time. Our mum made bacon sandwiches which made it even more special. I look at the moon today with those memories. Yet there are some who say that was another “conspiracy” – that what I saw never happened – that it was all staged. They say there was no moon landing. Which would mean that my bacon sandwich is the only real thing of that night (and even the bacon sandwich I cannot prove after all these years).
But I know what I saw and what I ate. It happened in my lifetime. The Lazarus resurrection issue did not. So why do I believe in the Lazarus resurrection issue and you do you not?
My answer is “evidence”. Stuff that has happened to both of us over the years. Different stuff – same “evidence”. Stuff happened to me that causes me to think there is a God of Love – stuff happened to you which makes you think there is not a God. I believe in a God who loves unconditionally – you believe in religion that perpetuates evil. You attack that evil (you see in my God). The God I believe in has no resemblance to the God you (don’t) believe in.
You find facts that reinforce your belief – I find facts that reinforce my belief. You seek books and evidence to prove my God – I seek relationship which is my God. You think of a Jesus with the calloused hands of a carpenter – I think of a Jesus with soft open hands willingly accepting those nails. You see evil – I see evil. You call it religion – I call it man. You call me the perpetuator of evil – a coward – a conspirator. And I think you are weird in this one thing.
Because I see your pictures. You photograph beauty. You see beautiful things.
Yet others take pictures of evil. People take pictures of evil deeds done to innocents. Should I think you evil simply because you own a camera – because you take pictures? That is how much sense your accusations – of my “cowardice” – make to me.
I believe the Lazarus resurrection issue because of things that have happened in my lifetime. Stuff I cannot put down to anything but a loving Father. A God Soft Hands Jesus. A God of unconditional love. Pick a name – any name. Yet none of those things are written in the bible. It’s just all of them happened to me. So the bible describes God who fits the God I already have in my life.
And I believe in evil. I believe in darkness. I believe we allow both. I believe we seek one or the other. And in finding one we open a door for the other. I believe goodness and evil are both real. I see evidence of both. I see those who “believe in God” doing evil. Just as evil is done by those who believe in no God. I see those who “believe in God” doing good. Just as good is done by those who believe in no God.
Some blame God. Some hate God. Some demand God fixes things. Some say there is no God because if there was there would be no suffering. God would not let bad things happen. God should make everything and everyone well. And as He doesn’t – there is no God.
That is belief and believing. And where we have been taught to believe and that belief has let us down – we get angry. For some it is “gadgets”, for others it is “love”, and for others it is “God”. We can all be let down by something or someone. We almost always have been. And we get to choose to own that disappointment – or not – just as we get to choose to blame – or not.
So I believe Lazarus was raised from the dead not because of the bible. I believe because I have seen enough miraculous things happen in my lifetime. And that makes the Lazarus resurrection issue bible bit fit.
But I may be wrong. Just as you may be wrong. So why should we fall out over it?
Not unless one of us needs to blame the other one.
(and that – I believe – is not about the Lazarus resurrection issue, it is about something else entirely)