Turn out the lights — the party’s over!


Never-give-up-frogPeople are pretty good at this, you know.

-Pronouncing something over when it’s not really over.

Giving up on someone before they really should have—if they should have at all.

Consider the story of Lazarus, in the Bible. When Jesus is told His friend is deathly ill, he gives every indication that He will be there to make sure nothing happens to Lazarus. So, based on the facts and previous, miraculous encounters with Jesus, no one has given up on Lazarus and certainly, no one has given up on Jesus.


But give them time and poor odds and they will. Most of us will. And, in this story (true story) the odds get about as bad as odds can get. Author, Michael Steele, in his book, Flash-bang, had an interesting take on this biblical story. He said that, in all fairness, death is the sort of thing that we tend to view as final. He’s right, regardless of your theology (or lack thereof) the death rate is still hovering around 100 percent. And it was at that percent then too. On the other hand, in fairness to Jesus He did say this case was different.

He did?

Yes, He did. When he responded to the messenger Lazarus’ s sisters (Mary and Martha) had sent, He said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God, so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.”

So there you have it. God, who cannot lie, told them, This may look like a bleak situation. This may look like it’s over, but don’t turn out the lights on Lazarus just yet. This party’s not over.

But they flipped the switch amyway…

And they put away the confetti and party hats. There would be no celebration, only mourning. Their faith only went so far. Jesus could do something as long as Lazarus was sick, even deathly sick. But once Lazarus died it was over. They knew it. Everyone knew it.

That’s a s far as their faith in Jesus could go because that’s as far as they believed Jesus’ power and authority could go.

And that’s that.

Only it wasn’t.

But here’s the deal. Faith has limits and Mary and Martha reached there’s when Lazarus took his last breath. Don’t be too quick to judge them, your faith would most likely have been buried with Lazarus as well.

Mine too.