Most of us know the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the grave. We see the emotion, the excitement, the amazement in the story and that is a great thing to marvel at. But do we see ourselves in that scenario?
As I was driving the other day, I began to think of how the Lord had lifted me up out of the grave of life I had buried myself in, and it came to me that there is a Lazarus Effect in all of us who were once way lost and virtually dead in our tracks. In so many cases of healing when Jesus touched a life there was great excitement, wanting to shout it out to someone that they had been healed by this amazing man, let someone know that they too could be healed.
The Lazarus Effect brings out in us the need to give back what we have received, especially the gift of life we received that we did not deserve. It compels us to go far beyond normal to reach out to others to let them know about how life can be transformed. It is truly summarized in Step 12 as we carry this message to others.
As I watched our brother Russell teach Sunday, I thought of his past, his strokes, his conversation with me of how blessed he was to still be alive, and I saw the Lazarus Effect in him. How incredible it has been to see him grow into a leader and teacher as the transformation of dead in the water to alive in Christ has given him a do-over!
I see it in so many others, that joy that comes from realizing how blessed we are just to be here, free from the compulsions and chains of addiction, and so willing to be thankful and humble. And as we worship the one who made this possible it is almost impossible to contain the unbridled joy that makes you just want to shout out to someone else who is buried in that lifeless grave of hopelessness......
Come out Lazarus, come out Mary, John, George, Sandra, etc, etc. for the Lord your God can raise you up from your living hell!
If it were only that simple. And since it is not, and we are not empowered by Him to raise anyone, we can instead be like Russell and live like we are not afraid of dying because we have already been there. And those around us will see the Lazarus Effect and just maybe they will want the same.
If Jesus wept for his friend, he must certainly be weeping for us until we are alive in Him!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.