Death is inevitable. And so it forces upon us the question: What is life for? If our answer ends with anything in this life, that thing will be touched by “death”. Does this make life meaningless? Purposeless?
When Jesus’s friend Lazarus dies, Jesus tells his sister that “your brother will rise again.” Hidden in these words is not a promise of consolation for loss, but of restoration of all that is lost. This restoration will come through resurrection, yet this resurrection will come only through death. But not the death of Lazarus. Instead, the death of Jesus.
What’s the difference between the resurrection of Lazarus and that of Jesus? One was a sign, the other the fulfillment of it.