The law of entropy, the second law of thermodynamics, says that “in all energy exchange, if no energy enters or leaves the system, the potential energy of the state will be less than that of the initial state. In simple terms, left to itself, everything in the universe moves toward disorder and decay; metal rusts, food rots, the body deteriorates.
Exhibit A of this law comes from first pages of our Bible. Adam and Eve were given free access to all the fruit in the Garden of Eden, but with one exception. They were not permitted to eat of the tree designated as the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” If they did, they were told, they would surely die.
Adam and Eve did, in fact, eat of the forbidden fruit, but they did not drop dead. What they did do was initiate the law of entropy. From this point forward, everything would “move toward disorder and decay.” One act of disobedience, just one momentary lapse, and their lives, and ours, would be impacted forever.
“Sin is a slow-acting poison, It’s immediate effects are often indiscernible, yet the aftereffects are far more devastating than what we realize at the time. … Sin opens the door to entropy. The more you sin, the more life moves toward disorder and decay” (Mark Batterson, The Grave Robber, p. 235).
But enter Exhibit B in the plan of God – the reversal of the Law of Entropy.
Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus, had been dead for four days when Jesus decided to demonstrate His power and symbolically reverse the immediate impact of the law of entropy. In a move many find unbelievable, Jesus did what many surely thought smacked of idiocy: Jesus spoke to the dead man! “Lazarus, come out!”
Seriously? Lazarus was a virtual mummy, his body wrapped for burial with a full body cast of linens and spices. Skeptics notwithstanding, there is no evidence he had merely been in a coma; those who wrapped him from head to toe were convinced he was dead. But death had met its match! Jesus spoke, and suddenly, there he was. Lazarus lived again!
The first miracle was that Lazarus revived; the second, that he could walk (or hop) from the tomb. But God is not bound by the law of entropy, and we have here a vivid picture of the power of God available to reverse the effects of sin. Sin would bury us alive and make of us a shadow of what we were meant to be. But there is hope for us all. Lazarus resurrection did not just foreshadow Jesus’ own death and resurrection; it foreshadows our own! In the kingdom of God, reality is always bigger than our personal circumstances. What Jesus did for Lazarus, He would do for you and me as well.
In the words of the Apostle Paul, “We will all be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. … Then the saying that is written will come true: Death has been swallowed up in victory (I Corinthians 15:53, 54).
I am pleased to tell you that we have a God who can do for you and me what He did for Lazarus. “Come out” He would like to say to you … from darkness and decay and death. Reverse that awesome law of entropy, and rise to live again!