Posted by ice rivers on Mon, 22 May 2023
The longest journey is from life to death and then back to life again. Besides Jesus himself, only one person has made this pilgrimage.
Lazarus of Bethany.
Lazarus was known among his neighbors as a kind and gentle soul, always ready to lend a helping hand. Lazarus led a simple yet content life, cherishing the moments with his beloved sisters, Mary and Martha.
However, Lazarus had always possessed a deep yearning for spiritual enlightenment. He sought answers to profound questions that stirred within his soul, questioning the nature of life, death, and the afterlife. His quest for meaning often led him to engage in deep contemplation and seek solitude in the quiet corners of his village.
One fateful day, Lazarus fell gravely ill, and his condition deteriorated rapidly. His body weakened, and his spirit clung to the brink of the unknown. As the veil between life and death grew thin, Lazarus felt a sense of tranquility enveloping him, as if beckoning him towards a realm beyond mortal comprehension.
In the depths of his illness, Lazarus sensed a presence, a force guiding him through a realm of ethereal beauty and serenity. He felt a connection to something greater, an undeniable peace that surpassed anything he had ever experienced in the mortal realm. Lazarus had come to his true home.
But just as Lazarus began to surrender to this newfound realm of tranquility, a powerful force called him back. He awakened to find himself lying on his deathbed, surrounded by his tearful sisters and concerned friends. Their joyous cries of his revival echoed through the room, but deep within, Lazarus felt a profound sense of loss and sadness.
As Lazarus rose from his sickbed, he found himself caught between two worlds. He had tasted the sublime embrace of the afterlife, only to be abruptly torn away from its loving embrace. The mortal realm now appeared dim and colorless, a stark contrast to the vibrant tapestry of eternity he had glimpsed.
Lazarus struggled to adjust to this unexpected return to life. He yearned for the ethereal realm that had captivated his spirit, where he had felt at one with the universe. The sights and sounds of the village, once familiar and comforting, now felt like an impenetrable barrier separating him from true fulfillment.
Despite the joyous celebrations of his loved ones, Lazarus couldn't help but feel a deep sense of alienation. He longed to share his experience, to make others understand the profound beauty and peace he had encountered. But his attempts at articulating his journey fell on deaf ears, met with skepticism and disbelief.
As days turned into weeks and weeks into months, Lazarus grew increasingly withdrawn. His once radiant spirit became shrouded in a veil of melancholy. He struggled to find purpose and meaning in his revived existence, haunted by the loss of the ethereal paradise he had glimpsed.
Lazarus was filled with anger and resentment. He couldn't comprehend why Jesus had interfered with his peaceful existence, why he had been dragged back into the tumultuous world of the living against his will.
Lazarus confronted Jesus, his voice trembling with emotion. "Why did you bring me back? Why disrupt the tranquility I had found? I was at peace, and now I am forced to endure the hardships of mortal existence once more. I don't get it"
Jesus, understanding the depth of Lazarus' anguish, approached him with compassion. "Lazarus, my friend, I understand your pain and confusion. It was not an easy decision to bring you back. But I did so to show the power of faith and to remind humanity of the gift of life. Your resurrection is a testament to the miracle that awaits all who believe."
Lazarus, still consumed by anger, struggled to accept Jesus' explanation. "But why must I bear the burden of this miracle? Why must I navigate the complexities of life when I had found peace in death? Does this mean that everybody is gonna come back?"
Jesus placed a hand on Lazarus' shoulder, his eyes filled with empathy. "Life is a gift, my friend, even with its hardships and trials. You have been given a second chance, an opportunity to appreciate the fleeting nature of existence, to cherish every moment with renewed gratitude and purpose. Seek meaning in this life, for it is through your experiences that you can find solace and enlightenment."
Lazarus, though still harboring doubts, felt a glimmer of understanding. He realized that his anger stemmed from his longing for the peace he had found beyond the grave. But in the presence of Jesus' words, a seed of acceptance began to sprout within him.
Eventually, Lazarus embarked on a journey of self-discovery, seeking solace and understanding. He traveled far and wide, meeting wise sages and scholars, delving into ancient texts and philosophies. Along the way, he encountered others who had experienced the boundary between life and death, finding solace in their shared stories.
Through his journey, Lazarus discovered that his anger and bitterness were natural responses to the disruption of the natural order. He realized that his second chance at life was an opportunity to appreciate the fleeting nature of existence, to savor every moment with gratitude and awareness.
With newfound wisdom, Lazarus returned to Bethany, transformed by his experiences. He embraced his loved ones and shared his journey with them, teaching them the importance of cherishing each day, for life is a fragile and precious gift.
And so, Lazarus found peace within himself, no longer angered by his return to life. He became a source of inspiration and enlightenment for others, reminding them to embrace every moment and seek the beauty and meaning in their own lives.
As Lazarus ventured forth, sharing his profound experience with those who would listen, his words resonated deeply within the hearts of some, stirring a powerful sense of devotion and awe. News of his resurrection and the ethereal realm he had witnessed spread like wildfire, captivating the imaginations of many.
Among those captivated was a small group of individuals who saw Lazarus as more than a mere messenger. Their minds, clouded by desperation and longing for divine intervention, yearned for a tangible connection to the divine. In their fervor, they mistook Lazarus for a deity, believing he embodied the very essence of God Himself.
Word of this newfound cult, devoted to the worship of Lazarus, reached the far corners of the land. People from near and far flocked to witness his presence, seeking his blessings and guidance. They knelt before him, their eyes filled with reverence and hope, placing their faith in a mortal man who had brushed against the realms of eternity.
Lazarus, deeply aware of the misconceptions that had arisen, felt conflicted within his soul. On one hand, he empathized with the desperation and longing that led these individuals to revere him as divine. On the other hand, he knew the truth of his mortal nature and the limits of his own understanding.
With a heavy heart, Lazarus confronted his followers, urging them to look beyond his mortal existence and seek the divine within themselves. He implored them to recognize that his resurrection was not an affirmation of his own divinity but a testament to the greater power of love, faith, and the mysteries of existence.
Though Lazarus spoke with humility and sincerity, his followers clung tightly to their beliefs, unwilling to let go of the notion that their savior walked among them. They viewed his humility as a sign of his divine modesty, interpreting his every word and action as a message from God.
As the cult grew in numbers and influence, Lazarus found himself torn between the responsibility he felt toward his followers and the necessity of dispelling their misconceptions. He sought solace in prayer, pleading for guidance from the divine forces that had touched his life so intimately.
In a moment of profound clarity, Lazarus realized that he could no longer perpetuate the misunderstanding that had taken root. He gathered his followers and delivered a heartfelt sermon, revealing the truth of his mortal nature and urging them to look beyond him for spiritual connection and guidance.
Some of his devoted followers were heartbroken and felt betrayed, while others struggled to reconcile their beliefs with the truth that Lazarus presented. The cult gradually disbanded, leaving behind a community in search of a new spiritual path, one that would guide them on their own unique journeys.
In the aftermath, Lazarus retreated from the public eye, seeking solitude and introspection. He dedicated himself to a life of service, offering his wisdom and compassion to all who sought solace. He became a symbol of resilience, reminding others of the transformative power of faith and the importance of seeking truth within themselves.
As time passed and the fervor surrounding Lazarus subsided, a faction within his former cult began to question the authenticity of his divinity. Doubt crept into their hearts, fueled by the absence of Lazarus from the public eye and the growing skepticism of those outside the cult.
These disillusioned members, once fervent in their devotion, now felt a sense of betrayal and disillusionment. They started to view Lazarus as a mere mortal who had deceived them with tales of divine encounters. Rumors spread, tarnishing his once revered image and portraying him as a fraud.
Some individuals within the cult, who had once believed wholeheartedly in Lazarus' divinity, became vocal critics. They accused him of manipulating their faith for personal gain and questioned the authenticity of his resurrection. Their discontent grew, and a growing rift tore through the once-unified group.
Lazarus, unaware of the growing sentiment of disbelief and betrayal, continued his life of solitude and contemplation. He remained dedicated to his personal journey of seeking truth and sharing his wisdom, even as the perception of his followers shifted dramatically.
However, there were still those who steadfastly believed in Lazarus, despite the doubts that plagued others. They held onto the memory of the hope and inspiration he had instilled in them, refusing to be swayed by the accusations of fraudulence. These loyal followers continued to seek solace and guidance in Lazarus' teachings, seeing them as a source of personal growth and enlightenment.
Amidst the divided opinions within the cult, debates and conflicts arose, further splintering the community. Some members chose to distance themselves entirely, disillusioned and seeking new spiritual paths, while others clung to their faith in Lazarus, defending his honor against the accusations.
As the dust settled, the once-vibrant cult became a fragmented community, each member choosing their own path based on their individual beliefs and experiences. Lazarus, aware of the discord his presence had caused, found solace in the understanding that truth is subjective and that every individual must navigate their own spiritual journey.
Lazarus with the help of his sisters left the public life forever. Eventually he made the journey back where Jesus and the Father greeted him. Lazarus was truly home again. All the records of his life after his resurrection were stricken from the memory of the faithful.
The story of Lazarus, once overly celebrated for his resurrection, now carried a more nuanced narrative. It became a tale of the complexities of faith, human perception, and the inherent challenges of interpreting divine experiences. While some labeled him a fraud, others continued to find value in his teachings, choosing to focus on the transformative power of his message rather than the doubts surrounding his identity.
In the end, the legacy of Lazarus was not defined solely by the opinions of his followers or the accusations of fraudulence. It rested upon the individuals who had found solace and inspiration in his resurrection, as well as those who had grown skeptical and sought their own paths to spiritual truth. And in the ever-evolving tapestry of beliefs and interpretations, the true essence of Lazarus' earthly and heavenly experience continued to reverberate, challenging individuals to seek their own understanding of the divine.
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Did you mean to post this as
Did you mean to post this as a blogpost Ice?
Good question....thanks for reading
I wrote this piece in response to the IP so that's why I placed it at first on ABC tales. I haven't been getting a lot of reads on ABC tales of late and since I regarded this piece highly, I thought I'd drop it on my blog and compare readership going forward. The more readers I get the happier I am.