DEATH IS DEAD
Just suppose that you have been dead for 4 days. Just suppose. And at the end of
these 4 days, by some supernatural, miraculous power, you are brought back to life.
Imaqine that. Dead then alive again.
I wonder how you would look at life had this been your experience. Would you be more
patient with people than you are? Or would you be impatient? And sort of laugh at
folks? In a fresh way? Would you look at life and wonder why in the world people don't
claim the promises of God and live by them? Or because of your advance knowledge
would you just while away your life in amazement and wonder?
What if you had been dead for 4 days and come back to life again - what difference would
it make? How would you be different? This is the premise, the background, of a play
by Eugene O'Neil, entitled LAZARUS LAUGHED. It is a scene he takes from John, chapter 11
and he expounds it and explains it and dramatizes it. And his thesis is basically this:
That Lazarus, after he had been dead for 4 days and was brought back to life by Jesus
Christ, that the primary characteristic in the life of Lazarus had been one of laughter.
O'Neil has people coming to volunteer to work for Lazarus and for his family just to
be around him so they can hear him laugh. In fact, tradition tells us that Lazarus'
home became known as A HOUSE OF LAUGHTER.
Caesar sends guards in to kill Lazarus. And he just begins to laugh at them. And then
they break down and they start to laugh too. O'Neil perceives that laughter - laughter -
an irrepresible joy was the thrust of Lazarus. In the first scene in the play, he
pictures Lazarus' father ...
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