A New Reality
March 18, 2022
There are two men in the Bible named Lazarus; the first and most famous was the brother of Mary and Martha, as recorded in John 11. The second Lazarus was the beggar. Although they had in common their earthly names, their lives, both before and after death were in direct contrast to one another. Their story can be found in Luke 16:19-31.
“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores.”
The contrasts of these two lives are plain to see, the rich man with his luxurious lifestyle; every day, all day was a feast for him. But then the spotlight turns to the poor man named Lazarus. Instead of being clothed with fine robes, his clothing was scars. He was diseased, hungry and homeless; desiring that someone would give him even crumbs to eat. As he was laid daily at the rich man’s gate desiring that some pity would be shown. Perhaps some assistance given by the rich man as he entered and exited from his plentiful surroundings, stepping over Lazarus without offering him even a crumb.
“So it was that the beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.” Suddenly, these two men were thrust into a new reality. Death came and things changed instantly, drastically and eternally for them both.
Although, like all men, both died, Lazarus is now comforted in Abraham’s bosom. The rich man, on the other hand, now finds himself in torment. Death had brought about reaping time; where the life lived before death determined the life lived afterwards and for eternity. A time of justice for some and a time of judgment for others.
From all outward appearances, the rich man was a blessed man; and indeed, he was. However, riches without God proved to be of no lasting value. In his lifetime, he expressed no faith in or regard for God. He did not give Him glory and he lived as though God did not exist.
Lazarus on the other hand, although his life was one of poverty and full of struggles, he knew the Lord (“Father Abraham”) and the Lord knew him. Lazarus carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom where he is now comforted, fulfilled and at peace. The trials of his life before death now forever behind him. The rich man on the other hand deceived and blinded by his own earthly pleasures lived only with a regard to life here on this earth; without thought of death, after death, eternity, and a new reality.
This article was first published in The Omaha Star (Vol.84-No.6) – March 18, 2022
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