I just left chapel at the seminary. John Ewart, a professor here, was preaching. His text was from John’s Gospel and was the narrative of the death of Lazarus and the events surrounding Jesus’ raising of Lazarus. My morning was already filled with thoughts of Anna for various reasons, as most mornings are, and so this sermon was particularly poignant for me. It was one of those services that are at once extremely sweet and extremely painful.
In the course of the sermon, John portrayed Jesus as calling forth to Lazarus and telling him to come out of the tomb. He told how Jesus hated death, his enemy. He was calling out to Lazarus telling him how to escape from death. “Lazarus, come out this way!” And Jesus defeated death that day, by calling forth Lazarus and raising him from the dead.
But what about Anna, or my mother, or the countless other believers who have died? Has death won in their cases? No. I believe not. Jesus still calls to each of them. Just as forcefully as he called to Lazarus, saying, Come this way! Jesus called to Anna, is calling, and will call finally at his second coming to Anna, saying, “Anna, come forth from the grave!” And just as surely as Lazarus was raised, so Anna will come forth from the grave.
It is a beautiful picture indeed. And it will be a beautiful day indeed.