Friday's Weekly Rap Up is something that I like to feature at the end of weeks, featuring some sort of rap song, along with how it coincides with the Christian life. This week we have the song "Lazarus" from Trip Lee, featuring This'l.
Last weekend we took part in an evangelism training course at Sojourn Heights, our local church, led by Jeremiah Morris. The training was a speed-through of the gospel of John, and highlighted chapter 11, which features the account of Lazarus.
There's not a ton we know about Lazarus, other than he was a man from the village of Bethany that was sick. This was the same village as Martha and Mary, who would later serve Jesus, with Mary anointing Jesus, wiping Jesus' feet with expensive (a year's wage!) perfume. Back to Lazarus; he was sick, but Jesus ultimately tells his family that Lazarus' illness would not lead to death, but was "so that the Son of God would be glorified through it." Now, that's not necessarily comforting for someone who is losing a family member. Not at all.
It takes Jesus a few days to actually head back to Bethany to see Lazarus. We are told that Jesus waits two days before going to see Lazarus. Some may find that cold and unloving. But, Jesus, in his kindness, sometimes allows sadness and brokenness to take place to reveal our need for him.
We find out that Lazarus actually died. It's not that he just fell asleep deeply for a number of days, but that he actually died. Two days after that, after Lazarus had been dead for four days, Jesus finally takes action, but not before grieving and weeping himself, alongside Lazarus' family. Jesus, at the tomb where Lazarus had been laid, calls "Lazarus, come out." Out he came.
Now, when we see this resurrection of Lazarus, we're called to see our own resurrection in Christ. Jesus tells Martha that "whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live..." (John 11:25). In many ways, we see this same spiritual resurrection in our lives. This is what Trip Lee and This'l are communicating. They're talking about dead men being raised up in Christ. When This'l talks about a missing persons report, he's relating that to the missing former person he was before Christ in his life.
It took a miracle for Jesus to physically raise Lazarus from the dead, and that same work of Christ is being done through miracles of the lives of those around us today, being raised to new life in Christ. What "Lazarus" is communicating is that Jesus still brings the dead back to life. This is evidenced in many lives, where people turn from sin, and live new lives in the joy of Christ.
"He made the blind see and got the lame up
So it’s no surprise he can raise us"