THE SILENCE THAT NEVER RESOLVED THE MYSTERY OF AFTER LIFE
Resurrection- Coming back to life after dying is a cultural belief that has existed as early as 2 B.C. In the land of Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization. Resurrection is a primeval idea- (concept) that co-existed with two others, namely: Rejuvenation and physical immortality.
The old age with all its accompanyment of infirmity, senility, physical and mental disability drove man to wishful fantasy and wishful thinking. The seasonal cycle of death and rebirth was enacted in rituals with reminiscent ideas of growing youthful or rejuvenating.
Advanced old age concludes the optimism of youth and opens a new chapter of pessimism- the worst being death. Honestly speaking no living person would choose death if ever given the alternative. No one would choose to leave behind loved ones so as to enjoy eternally the beatific vision of God.
The imagination and fantasy of rejuvenation struck the mind of man while experiencing the tribulations of living with one foot on the grave.
The fear of dreadful death – terminating relationship with loved ones gave man the third idea of physical immortality that would have enabled him to live imperishably in space and time.
A legendary story in the land of Mesopotamia narrates that during the Great Flood that was in existence, the gods of the land saved only one man, utinapishtism and his wife. This destructive and fateful event presupposes that all other living mortals at the time died in the deluge. lmportantly, the imagination and fantasy of the time climaxed in Utinapishtim being glorified by the gods with physical immortality.
The phantasm of resurrection has become a reality and an object of faith."I believe in the resurrection of the dead.”
The raising of Lazarus from the death or the resurrection of Lazarus, narrated in Jn 11: 38-44; boggles the mind of the reader with unanswered questions. Jesus of history and the Christ of faith stood with grief at the graveside of Lazarus, the man he so dearly loved. Four days had elapsed since the death and burial of Lazarus. He cried with a loud voice and said, “Lazarus come out.”The loud and confident command brought the dead Lazarus back to life- into being again.
Silence! Why the silence? Silence has prevailed notwithstanding, that the soul or spirit of Lazarus left the body, as it is believed, and reached its destination- the afterlife. Lazarus had the actual experience of the afterlife- the world of the dead and other spiritual beings. The silence raises questions and eyebrows.
Lazarus revealed or disclosed absolutely nothing. He gave the living no clue about heaven, hell and the spiritual beings that are believed to dwell therei
Silence is said to be golden, that means, it is often best not to say anything. A crucial question then comes to mind, “What would have been the optimism of Lazarus or the apostles who might have asked him about afterlife to observe such a grave silence?”
Scholars, I suppose will respond in answering my question. But what I know a priori that they will only be defending the faith in the historical evidence concerning the resurrection of Lazarus.
Whatever be the answer, it remains a fact that the raising or the resurrection of Lazarus from death is a pious story.