(Day Twenty-four) Daily Lenten Devotional
Tuesday, March 28th (Day Twenty-four)
I pray for the courage to walk with Jesus Christ and to be with him in his passion and death.
The Raising of Lazarus, John 11:1-44
1. Come into God’s (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) loving presence. Feel God’s loving, healing gaze come over you. Offer yourself completely to God.
2. Silently sit before God for 10 minutes.
3. Read John 11:1-44 five times very slowly. The first time, simply and reverently read it, allowing God’s word to flow over you. The second time be aware of any verse word, phrase or concept that God is revealing to you as you read. Meditate silently for several minutes what the Lord has given you. During the third reading allow a prayer to formulate in your heart and offer that prayer to God. As the Scripture is read a fourth time, allow yourself to be drawn into the biblical scene as if you are living it right now. Be aware of any physical sensations, thoughts, or emotions that may arise. Journal your experience in detail. The fifth and final reading should be a reading of unknowing. Simply rest in the mystery of God’s presence and God’s Word, peacefully and with great joy.
4. Journal important aspects of the entire experience.
Read the following. You may use it as a guide or just food for thought:
I am overwhelmed by how the love of Jesus accompanies us (as there are many who are walking with Jesus) and takes the devastation out of our suffering. Jesus enters our reality while inviting us to enter true Reality, God’s Reality. I can feel the Truth of the resurrection and life after death as Jesus shares his Reality with us, while at the same time fully knowing the pain and struggle of our reality and of what Jesus is about to undergo. I watch as Jesus is deeply disturbed. I seem to instinctively know that this disturbance comes out of the Lord’s love for us and the Lord’s deep desire that we might know the Reality of his love, salvation and eternity at a deep level. There seems to be a clash of the Divine Truth of life in Christ and the Abhorrent lie of death that the world would have us believe, which seems to me as the source of the Lord’s disturbance. Jesus weeps as divine love absorbs the pain. Jesus knows our suffering and he weeps, not from his own pain, which is quite real, but from our pain sourced in separation from God. The blackness that separates us from God is what brings Jesus to tears. The blackness of sin and death has no effect on Jesus as he simply says “Lazarus, come forth!” and death is conquered. However, Jesus is moved to tears because blackness has overwhelmed his beloved people. I ask, “Lord, in what ways am I bound by blackness? What blackness in me are you, even now, weeping over? I heard your voice Lord calling me out of the darkness. I pray that the light in which I dwell burns away any residue of the darkness that once held me. Lord, call me out of any darkness that may still have hold of me, of which I may not be aware.” Then I hear, “Gene, follow me, I will lead you, follow me!” I said, “Yes Lord, lead me and I will follow.”