The Gospel of John can be divided into the Book of Signs (John 1-12) and the Book of Glory (John 13-21).
The first sign is given at Cana (John 2). The last sign is given at Bethany (John 11).
Feel the crescendo.
We witness ‘water turned into wine,’ and now ‘death put to death.’
Lazarus has been dead for four days:
Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’ The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth.
Even the dead hear the voice of Jesus.
But it is not enough.
The religious authorities can’t stand Jesus. They hate him with a passion. He dies in utter disgrace on a gibbet, not before he is brutally scourged by maniacs.
But his death is different. The evangelists choose their language carefully:
Jesus ‘lays down his life.’
Jesus lets himself be ‘handed over.’
It was Leo the Great (400-460) who proclaimed:
Let happen in your hearts what is going to happen to your bodies.
We let the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus enter our hearts, so much so, that our life becomes a dying and rising.