What was it like for Jesus to go through the journey of this chapter of the Bible? Jesus was out of town on business when he learned his friend was sick and, in all probability, dying. Then He learned he had died. Jesus knew “they” had expectations of him –
- They: expected Him to go and heal
- He: expected to go and reveal more of who He is.
- They: confronted Him with questions about His priorities or time management – why else would He be so late?!
- He: saw how deeply they misunderstood Him, His purpose and message.
- He: declared Himself to be Resurrection, Life, conquerer of Death.
- They: believed He is the messenger.
- They felt deep grief.
- He felt “deeply moved in spirit and troubled.”
Was He thinking just about grief? About His friend Lazarus? About the grieving sisters? I think He was. But I also think He was thinking about the whole story of death brought on by Sin. I think He was also thinking about what it will cost Him to bring the Resurrection and Life He has declared in this passage. He is much more than the usual prophet, religious person, or teacher. His deep troubles were personal, for Lazarus and this scene in front of him. And His troubles were about the BIG picture – sin brought death; death stings; there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood; His blood shed for us, each of us is a sinner.
Jesus wept and was deeply moved again. You know that pain of grief. Deep in the chest. Heavy. Difficult to breathe. Stomach in knots. Head pounding. Jesus was equally deeply moved by sorrow.
Then He called Lazarus’ name (He had to call one person by name, because He didn’t want all the people in the whole cemetery to come out of their graves. He had to be specific.) And – glory of glories –Lazarus came out of death, into life. Now Jesus was BEING the resurrection and life.
I know this isn’t your exact story. Your child remained dead – even if you went to the grave side and called their name. (I know one mom who did just that. Had to try, just in case.) But Lazarus’ story is important for you, because it proves Jesus IS the Resurrection and Life. And what He said is this: “He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…” So at this present time in human history, all people die. But also all who believe in Jesus Live! Just like Lazarus, they live beyond the grave. In fact, better than Lazarus, they live in God’s permanent world and never have to face death, sin, disease or pain again.
Let's be like these witnesses: "Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him."