The Strings and Pulleys of Resurrection
April 15, 2016
-by Hugo Olaiz
There are hundreds of representations of Lazarus’ resurrection, but this one, by Argentine artist Marcelo Salvioli, is probably my favorite. Most representations simply show a man who is already resurrected, as if it were a magic trick. This representation is different: It shows the very moment of coming back to life. Instead of a fully-formed man, we see Lazarus’ body crushed as if it were a baby in the act of coming out from the womb.
And this rebirth is not a magic trick: It is mediated by a system of pulleys and strings governed by an Invisible Hand. There’s stretching, pushing, and pulling. The image seems to echo Jesus’ command to the apostles to cast their nets and become fishers of people.
I invite you to mediate on the image, examine it, explore what intrigues you, what unsettles you. Deeply engage with this imaging of the movement of Lazarus from death to life for a few moments.
In this season of Easter, Jesus invites you and me to come back to life, and then to help others come back to life as well. What strings and ropes are you going to hold on to in order to come out of the grave? And what nets are you going to cast, and where, to help others do likewise?
Mary W. Cox
Nature, music, art, friends, and often the astonishing words and kindness of strangers are always “pulleys” for me. I heard a sermon many years ago in which the preacher reminded us that Lazarus, raised by Jesus, was still wrapped in his grave-cloths, and that it was the task of his family and friends to “unbind him and let him go.” That’s our job, the preacher said–to unbind each other.