Today at church we read the story of the raising of Lazarus of Bethany from John 11.1-45, a kind of “resurrection preview”. I find it almost comical that, upon hearing the report, the Sanhedrin plots to kill Jesus (Verse 53), without considering for one moment:
- Hey, maybe this man is from God after all? or
- Hmmm. If he can raise another dead man, maybe be he can raise himself too!
Lewis takes a curious line on the story,
Toward the end of his life, Lewis wrote to a friend: “One ought to honor
Lazarus rather than Stephen as a proto-martyr. To be brought back and have
all one’s dying to do again was rather hard.”
And as if to underline the point, he wrote a wonderful little poem called Stephen to Lazarus, where Stephen sympathizes with Lazarus for being forced to give up a hard-won death.
But was I the first martyr, who
Gave up no more than life, while you,
Already free among the dead,
Your rags stripped off, your fetters shed,
Surrendered what all other men
Irrevocably keep, and when
Your battered ship at anchor lay
Seemingly safe in the dark bay
No ripple stirs, obediently
Put out a second time to sea
Well knowing that your death (in vain
Died once) must all be died again?
See also an Eastern Orthodox comment on the poem.
Anyone want to add any thoughts on the matter?
Under The Mercy,