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Lazurus

  • 02-05-2023 11:47am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 15,472 ✭✭✭✭


    John 11:38-44 New King James Version

    Lazarus Raised from the Dead

    38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

    Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

    40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?” 41 Then they took away the stone [a]from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

    I was in church recently and this was the gospel of the day. I hadn't paid too much attention to it before, but it really got me thinking. Why isn't this given more prominence? Surely this is the breaking of the hold of death and there was no need for Jesus to die on the cross? Jesus had proved that god had the power to defeat death. Yes, the miracles or bread & fishes and walking on water are impressive, but this is totally another level. Why would Jesus not be completely mobbed after this? Everyone that lost a loved one would be looking for this. the Romans would have been terrified, how do you defeat an army that cannot be killed?

    Isn't this the equal of Jesus' own resurrection yet there is no special day, no celebration? It passes off as almost a matter of fact happening



Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,112 ✭✭✭homer911


    Lazarus died, and was brought back to life which was a demonstration that Jesus did indeed have power over life and death, but it was by Jesus' power, not that of Lazarus, who would still ultimately die again. Jesus came back to life through his own power, never to die again. When Jesus died and rose, it wasnt "just" dying, it was a perfect sacrifice, a sin offering for the entire world.

    There are a lot of events and promises in the Bible that point the way to the Messiah, having brought Lazarus back to life, the disciples should have realised what Jesus was capable of when they were mystified by the empty tomb (and by the promises that Jesus himself made)

    Ever read Psalm 22? (written hundreds of years before the crucifixion)



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,026 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    It's not just Lazarus; there are other raisings of the dead in both the New Testament (e.g. by Jesus, Mk 5; by Paul, Acts 20) and in the Old Testament (by Elijah, 1 Kings 17; by Elisha, 2 Kings 4). And of course the general resurrection of the dead is an article of faith mentioned in the creed.

    The resurrection of Jesus is considered to be different from all of these, because Jesus raises himself; this shows his power over life and death, which is the foundation of all the other resurrection miracles - in the Christian view, they are all effected by the power of Jesus, and celebrating the resurrection of Jesus embraces all the other resurrections, whose main theological significance is that they point to the resurrection of Jesus. Hence, they don't all get their own individual celebrations, commensurate with the Easter celebration.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,472 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    If Jesus can raise anyone from the dead, or was the case for Lazuras, then Jesus didn't need to die to defeat death. He could do it whenever he wished and surely, as I asked in the OP, wasn't he mobbed and seen as a god then and there? It makes no sense that he would do something like that and it went by almost unnoticed.

    Why then did Jesus need to die on the cross? What did it achieve? I was always under the impression that it was to forgive our original sin, but that isn't the case as we are told that we are all born with original sin. And if it was to forgive our sins, why are we not in paradise now?

    Even in the reading in the church, it is treated as somewhat throwaway. This miracle happened, but don't think too much of it.



  • Registered Users Posts: 22 rs232


    I suggest not overthinking it.

    If you believe God is omnipotent, even then one can argue God incarnating in the flesh is redundant.

    But that’s not the way it seems to us.

    Who knows all the answers?

    I just accept.

    Tried to question and that just lead to darkness.



  • Registered Users Posts: 4,085 ✭✭✭blackbox


    Who knows all the answers?

    I just accept.

    Tried to question and that just lead to darkness.


    I can't think of anything that will lead to darkness faster than failing to question things. (not claiming to be a Christian or religion expert)



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  • Registered Users Posts: 22 rs232


    Be selective then about what you question.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,112 ✭✭✭homer911


    I was doing a study last weekend on forgiveness, interesting stuff. the offer of forgiveness is unconditional but the acceptance of forgiveness is conditional, requiring both confession and repentance. Also the fact that as fallen creatures, its impossible for us not to be sinful. Despite our recurring sin, Jesus died ONCE for ALL sin. Why are we not in paradise now? Read the parable of the sower for a start..



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,472 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    Getting back to Lazarus, my question remains as to why the need for Jesus to make the sacrifice as he had already shown that he had power over death. Surely the power of Jesus would have been even greater had he continued to raise the dead all over the place, rather than sacrifice himself for a brief period of time before going back to heaven.

    The forgiveness of sins, which is part of the reason given, IMO doesn't stand up as it still requires that we confess and repent. So Jesus was making a sacrifice for nothing in many cases. And it raises the question as to what happens to all those who believed in God before Jesus' sacrifice as God had not forgiven them their sins. So only those who accepted Jesus ever get to paradise



  • Registered Users Posts: 22 rs232


    There are truly deeper questions raised by the whole Lazarus incident if one were to look further down, especially the eschatology laid out in John.

    However, we have a tradition, and unlike Thomas, objectively it is very hard to scientifically or logically prove in what to believe, in my opinion. I concede this.

    I personally recommend sticking to this tradition, credo in unum Deum etc. go to Mass, get the sacraments, say the rosary daily and stuff all the modern heresies in the bin. I tried it all. Agnosticism. Atheism.

    Take my word. Stare long enough into the abyss, it will stare back.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,472 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    Well Christianity is modern when compared to Judism so if ignoring modern heresies is your issue then Christianity must fall under that remit.

    At the very least you would be one of those decrying Jesus at the time



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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,026 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    You're hung up — as we moderns tend to be — on the apparent supernatural, miraculous, impossible, etc nature of raising from the dead. If Jesus demonstrated that he could raise Lazarus, that proves God's power, so what more is proven by Jesus raising himself?

    And you could push this argument even further. The Old Testament records people the prophet Elijah raising someone from the dead. Doesn't this prove whatever it is that needs to be proven, and so isn't Jesus's whole career redundant?

    But, the thing is, in Jesus's world, God's power didn't need to be proven; the Jews already believed in an omnipotent God. The point of the raisings from the dead recorded in scripture is not to illustrate the power of God.

    In Christian theology the saving event is not the resurrection of Christ; it's the death of Christ. The resurrection of Christ shows, or represents, or embodies, the salvation that was achieved, but it's the death of Christ — an entirely natural event in itself, nothing remotely miraculous about it — that actually does the heavy lifting of saving. So we have the paradox that Christ conquers death by embracing and accepting death.

    We don't have this in the Lazarus story, or in other raising-from-the-dead stories. In those stories, the death is not salvific, and the raisings do not point to death having been conquered, since all those raised went on to die a second time. They weren't raised to new life; just to the old, fallen life. The risen Christ, by contrast, is still risen.

    Post edited by Peregrinus on


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 rs232


    Why would you presume to declare your assumptions thus so when I’ve already told you what I think?

    Happy Easter !



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,472 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    I'm assuming nothing. You said yourself that sticking to tradition is the best course.

    I'm merely pointing out that tradition all depends on what your starting point is.

    Jesus wanted to break traditional Jewish thinking. Thus you would have advised him not to stare into the abyss and just do all the traditional stuff.



  • Registered Users Posts: 22 rs232


    You’re doing it again

    Realise this. I have no wish to argue with you.

    Happy Easter [again]!



  • Registered Users Posts: 703 ✭✭✭Iscreamkone


    If Jesus could bring people back from the dead, why didn’t he do more of it? Why didn’t he cure cancer (that he created?)?

    He did very little with his supernatural powers really. Changing water to wine once and it’s still talked about as being a big deal.
    And the multiplication of the grub - hardly worthy of a supreme being.

    Questions without many answers.

    Also, if being crucified for us was such a big deal, how come he was back at it a few days later. Surely, not much in that he only sacrificed a weekend for us. I sacrificed a weekend helping a friend clean out an old house - sames?



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,026 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    If Jesus could bring people back from the dead, why didn’t he do more of it? Why didn’t he cure cancer (that he created?)?

    He did very little with his supernatural powers really. Changing water to wine once and it’s still talked about as being a big deal.
    And the multiplication of the grub - hardly worthy of a supreme being.

    Questions without many answers.

    Without many answers? There's a whole branch of theology devoted to the problem of why an omnipotent God would allow evil or suffering; why he wouldn't cure cancer; etc. It's called "theodicy". It's a huge topic, and there's any amount of writing on the subject, offering any amount of answers, going back millenia.

    You may not find the answers easy, or you may not find them satisfying, but there are certainly plenty of answers on offer.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,472 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    Another aspect of it that I find troubling is that by bringing him back from the dead, Jesus proved who he was. Any of the apostles or those that witnessed it where given direct proof of the existence of God.

    But doesn't that go directly against the claim that God getting involved would deny free will?

    So bringing Lazurus back from death is fine as it helps Jesus gain followers but stopping earthquakes or volcanoes from killing thousands would be wrong as God doesn't want to interfere?

    That points to a God more concerned with his own popularity that the plight of his people.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,472 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    And why is there such voluminous writing on it? Because there is no answer just opinions.

    Many well researched and reasoned opinions but opinions nonetheless.

    God could of course give us the answer but chooses not to as that would deny faith or something.



  • Registered Users Posts: 26,026 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    The whole of philosophy — religious and non-religious alike — consists entirely of opinions. Everything you've posted in this thread, for example, the arguments you've offered, the views you've espoused — opinion, all of it. It's ludicrous to say that, to the question you pose (Why doesn't God do X?) you're being offered "no answer, just opinions". All possible answers to that question are opinions.



  • Registered Users Posts: 703 ✭✭✭Iscreamkone


    It is my opinion that Lazarus was not brought back from the dead. He was either not dead in the first place or the story was just made up for effect.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,026 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Maybe, but from a religious point of view the important thing is not what actually happened, but what is contained in scripture. Why was the story included? What message or teaching is it intended to convey or underpin? The answers questions like that don't actually depend on the degree of historical truth or otherwise underlying the story.

    (After all, consider the parables. They're explicitly fictional, and yet still religiously very significant.)



  • Registered Users Posts: 22 rs232


    In a similar manner one has to decide if the church is supernatural or just … loony.

    Comtemplatively, humbly, penitently go on now up to Mass and stare Our Lord at the Foot of Cavalry and make your peace with him. That’s what I suggest. To all of us.



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