David Bowie, the rock-star icon known for his edgy experimental dress and lyrics, died today leaving us with this video: Lazarus. Quietly, Bowie had been dying from cancer over the past few months, and wished for this music video to be released just days before his passing…why?
Lazarus is man in the New Testament who was sick, died and revived by Jesus. This was Mary’s brother, the woman who wept over Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her tears. It’s interesting that Jesus ‘wept’ over the death of Lazarus (John 11:35). Why did Jesus cry when in just a short time he calls Lazarus forth, out from the tomb to revive this man? Perhaps it is because Jesus looks on man’s misery with compassion. He was moved by Mary’s sadness, but knew soon her tears would be turned into joy. Yet at that moment, he wept with her. He waited four days while Lazarus in the grave before reviving him, and we’re told this was done so that Jesus would be shown to be the Son of God, the Messiah.
Bowie chose to interpret the story of Lazarus as his final message to the world. The music video begins by showing a wardrobe, similar to the Chronicles of Narnia wardrobe written about in the famous C.S. Lewis’ tale, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It then shows Bowie in a hospital bed with his eyes wrapped in bandages, and later he stands up, dancing, declaring his desperate condition. Then, in the final scene, he enters the wardrobe.
I grew up listening to Bowie, admiring his creativity and ingenuity in music. Like many creatives, he explored the meaning of life through his art. His final album is said to be a farewell to us. He sings these haunting lyrics, “Look up here, I’m in heaven…”It’s known that Bowie explored Christianity, and it is my prayer that he is in heaven, with Christ, who gives eternal life. Click To Tweet
Perhaps heaven is like walking into a wardrobe with a heavenly door that leads into the most intriguing of mysteries—the after life. The key to that door, however, is found only in One—Jesus Christ. He is the Messiah who raised Lazarus from the grave, and promises to anyone who believes in Him the same eternal destination.
As death takes many forms, Bowie explores this in his Lazarus song. One thing is certain — we’re all going to die. Could Bowie’s last message simply direct us to consider death, and where we’re headed?