Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.” – John 11:21
This line is a lament, but it is also a statement of faith. Martha’s belief in Jesus is absolute. She has faith not only in his power to heal but in his willingness to do so. No question: if he had been around, Lazarus would be alive.
When Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life,” he affirms Martha’s faith in him. Because he is the embodiment of life itself, he cannot help but bring healing. He is the catalyst for bones and sinews to knit themselves together, for blind eyes to begin responding to color and light, for pain and bleeding to cease, and for all that is bent over to right itself. He is also the catalyst for new understanding, new vision, a healing awareness and a new appreciation of creation. And astoundingly he is the catalyst for resurrection, right here and right now.
Lazarus, even though he is as dead as he can possibly be, will hear Jesus calling to him. He belongs to life in a way that transcends all our understanding, and so he will respond when Life summons him. Putrefying flesh will become whole again, and the elusive and undefinable entity we call the soul will return to it.
This is a mystery. We try to tie it down so it becomes something we can get our minds around, but really it is a matter for the heart. It is with our hearts that we recognize Life, and it is from our hearts that we put our faith in him. And when Life bubbles up from the center of our being and begins making demands of us, it is the heart that leads us to step forward, without hesitation, out of the tomb and into the light.