Read: Psalm 61:1-2, Ezekiel 18:10-17
The Lazarus’ in the world are caught up in the many conflicts of the nations, but they are also victims of Natural causes; floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and cyclones and the such. They are victims of plagues, famine and draughts. Jesus took those to the cross as well as our sins. Jesus became the Lazarus for them all.
In the story Jesus tell, the only ones who gave mercy to Lazarus were the dogs. They were the ones who licked the wounds of the victim of the plights of the world. To the Jews, all Gentiles were as dogs, so it is fitting that the Gentiles came to Jesus after the cross. In the Lazarus story, the dogs lick the wounds but they are not healed. We can try by our own efforts to give comfort and mercy to others, but with out the grace of the Holy Spirit, we are no better than the dogs. Right now when there is so much tragedy in the world, we give aid to just about every cause, but without the Grace of God behind our efforts, little is done.
We need to see Jesus as Lazarus, because clearly, he was making reference to himself with this story. He was rejected by the people that God had chosen to call His Own. He was left out of their homes and their hearts. Jesus took upon himself, the sores of rejection, abuse and neglect. He took to the cross the woulds caused by sin. He bore the grief of the loss of grace and He sat on the garbage heap of our wasted lives. He took the abuse that the people laid on others and He died.
And Now He sits on the lap of the Father. In the story, Abraham, the father of the Jews, is the the representative of Heaven. Jesus is using that illustration to show that the Father in Heaven (who is God) listens and gives mercy to the Lazarus’ of the world. When the rich man complains about his loss of Paradise, what does he tell him? He says that the rich man would not listen to the prophets and would not even listen to Lazarus. His words are, “They would not even listen even if someone rose from the dead.” And so it is. Even when Jesus rose from the dead and there was testimony from those who saw him, they did not listen.
This is why I think Jesus is the Lazarus, and because he also says that whatever we do (or don’t do) for the poor, lame and rejected of the world we do the same for Him. We are commanded to care each one for another. As Abraham represented the parenthood of the Jews, God the Father is the True Parent of all who follow Jesus. As Lazarus is carried home to the Bosom of God. Jesus is carried Home and if Jesus lives in our heart if Fullness, the home is where the heart is. If we have the Heart of Jesus, then we have the heart of Lazarus. If our hearts are the Home of Jesus, then we have the Hearts of Heaven and we can offer the bosom of Abraham to others.
We can be the promise of Lazarus. As the world is in constant turmoil, the is no lack of Lazarus’s to care for. We don’t need to go to the far ends of the earth to find them. I can speak as one of the many who can be called Lazarus because of the hurt of my past, the sins that racked ruin on my life and because I was rejected and despised by many. Even after I came to Christ, I was rejected by others who claimed Christ. Because of this, because I am also a Lazarus, I can see Jesus more clearly in others. I can see Lazarus in the eyes of an eight year old girl who was abused and beaten, asking to come home to a safe place, I can see Lazarus in the face of a elderly man whose children put in a rest home and forgot about. I can see Lazarus in the streets of the city children and the homeless.
Because I can see Lazarus in their faces, I can see the face of Jesus. I cab remember the few and infrequent moments that my mother wanted to hold me and know the loneliness of Lazarus. I can see Jesus on the Cross crying out, “My God (Abba Father), Why have You forsaken me?” There on the Cross, Jesus felt the total rejection. There on the Cross He was separated from the Father for the first and only time EVER. This was total rejection. Because Jesus is God, when Jesus took upon Himself, our sins and our grief, He separated Himself From God and rejected himself.
When we are commanded by Jesus to do unto others. we are if fact told to do unto Christ. We are to lift up the Lazarus’ of the World as to do so is to lift up Christ. In today’s world when there are so many Lazarus’ to care for there is no limit to the good that we can do. And Remember that just as Jesus was rejected, He rejected himself. Also the many who can be called Lazarus today reject themselves and need to find the Bosom of Abraham in their lives so that they can find peace and comfort. That is the motivation that we can offer to all; Jesus lived so that He could die and lives again so that we can live.