Lazarus Crossing Over

How's it going folks? Here's a little status update for ya. The URL's for both and are now secured under https protection. All audio players have been reformatted. All subject tags have been updated. The new microphone has arrived. The back-up of the hard drive has been completed. From now on, future back-ups will be fast and easy. Now working on the next session in our synchronized study of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John. Rather than keep you all waiting until it's finished, I thought I'd start dropping highlights here as I get them.

In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells a story about two men: a rich guy who remains nameless and a poor guy named Lazarus. The first and most important thing you need to know about this story is that it is not a parable. It’s often taught as the “parable” of Lazarus and the rich man, but parables don’t have personal names in them. Jesus introduced the first identity as, “a certain rich man” and the second identity as, “a certain beggar named Lazarus” which indicates that these weren’t meant to be taken as symbolic variables. Parables are always rich with symbolism, but there's nothing to glean from this story other than the obvious. These were real people with real lives. This was an actual account of two human beings to which Jesus was referring and he even told us the beggar’s name was “Lazarus.” The reason he chose to withhold the rich man’s name will become evident as the story unfolds.

In Luke 16:22, Jesus says Lazarus was carried by the angels into Abraham's Bosom. That word “carried” in verse 22 comes from the Greek word “apophero” which literally means, “to bear off, to bring, to carry away” and it implies that the angels brought Lazarus to Abraham using a method of transport that Lazarus didn’t have on his own. It also implies that he had no control over the timing or the speed of the journey.

Was he taken through an interdimensional gateway such as the one Jacob saw in Genesis 28:12? Did the angels use a transdimensional vehicle (chariot of fire) like those mentioned in 2nd Kings? Since only the body is hardware (while the soul is software), they could have transported Lazarus the same way we send information wirelessly from one hardware environment to another.

We don’t know how the angels did it. All we do know is that according to the Lord Jesus, as soon as Lazarus died, he was immediately taken by the angels and carried into the presence of Abraham.

Therefore, Lazarus didn’t linger between two states of being, he didn’t haunt the place where he died, he didn’t haunt anyone left behind, and he didn’t find himself in a long hallway walking toward the light. With all due respect to those who have had near-death experiences, it is critically important to understand that a near-death experience, while it is very real and supernatural in nature, it is not the same thing as an actual death experience. People who come close to death, who may have even been declared legally dead for a short period of time, do not have the same experiences as those who actually die. If it weren’t for the testimony of Jesus here in this passage, we wouldn’t know this to be true. But since we do have Jesus’ testimony, we can take great comfort in it. We’ll discuss hauntings and near-death experiences later in this study.