What does resurrection mean?
I recently read an article that referred to Lazarus' resurrection. Is that the correct term? It applies to Jesus, I know, but to Lazarus? I've always assumed that Lazarus lived for a while and then died again, and like other people who have died, he awaits resurrection. Am I wrong?
In Christ and Lazarus we have two people who have risen from the grave, but in very different ways. In case of Lazarus, the dead man was "simply" raised to the same life he enjoyed before his death. He did eventually die again. Christ's case is different. Here the one who had died dose not simply return to his old way of being, but enters into a new kind of life. Unlike the raised Lazarus, the resurrected Christ enjoys a body that is different from his pre-resurrected body as a full-grown plant is from a seed. This resurrected body of Christ bears a relationship to the body Christ had before his death, yet it is profoundly transformed; it's so different that many of Christ's disciples do not at first recognize him. In his resurrection, Christ reveals the kind of life we may all hope to enjoy at the time of his second coming. Since this is a life Lazarus still awaits, it's most fitting to follow the lead of the New Testament and simply refer to Lazarus as having been raised rather resurrected.
Matthew Allman, CSsr - email@example.com