"Do you believe this?"

Obviously, the theme of today's Gospel (John 11:1-45), which is about Jesus resurrecting Lazarus, is death. But I can see that it talks about two kinds of death. I would say that one kind is the worldly, physical one and the other kind is the spiritual one.

The worldly, physical death is caused by, or is itself even, illness. So when Jesus said, knowing that Lazarus was to meet this kind of death, that "this illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it", Jesus is making a distinction between one kind of death and the other.

The worldly, physical death is temporary, not permanent. "Our friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him," Jesus said.

But the worldly, physical death is very powerful. It causes fear and suffering, rocks our faith to God and, worst of all, may lead us to the eternal, spiritual death if we do not know how to handle it. Our suffering caused by this death is so great that Jesus, who so loves us and is so compassionate, seeing this, is "perturbed", "deeply troubled" and even weeps for us.

But the great news is that, with the help of Jesus and our belief, we will not only rise from this worldly, physical death but also avoid the eternal, spiritual one. This great news is clearly told by Jesus when he said:

“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die."

He followed this up with the all important question:

"Do you believe this?"

I do, my Lord.

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