9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him. 12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” (John 12:9-13 NIV)
There was a large crowd of people who had come to see Jesus. I’ve read the story of “Palm Sunday” a thousand times. We relive the moment each year as the little ones in our churches parade down the center aisle and wave branches as the choir sings. I know the story, but my eyes were opened to something this morning that I don’t know I’ve ever seen before. John tells us that the people came to see Jesus, “but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.” That phrase jumped out at me.
Lazarus’ life was a testimony of the power and love of Jesus’ life. When folks “saw” Lazarus they were reminded of Jesus and what he had done. Early this morning I had a conversation with a friend of mine at the gym. We were running on the treadmill when he told me about a friend of his that doesn’t care for “the church.” He loves Jesus, reads the Bible, but cringes when talk turns to “church.” The skeptic’s “view” of Jesus is clouded by all of the disturbing things he sees going on in the church, but he is attracted to my friend because of his faith, the consistency of his walk, and his genuine love for the Lord that is apparent in the way he lives. When the skeptic sees my friend…he sees Jesus.
I think God has called us, each and every one of His followers, to be a transparent window that allows the world to see Jesus for who He truly is. Like Lazarus and my friend, when folks look at us they should be reminded of Jesus’ power and love.
My prayer today, Lord, is that You will keep me mindful of Your call to be Your hands and feet, to let others see You as they watch me. For that to happen today, Lord, I need Your help.