The sisters of Lazarus sent word to Jesus, saying, “Master, the one you love is ill.” When Jesus heard this he said, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he remained for two days in the place where he was. Then after this he said to his disciples, Let us go back to Judea.” When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him; but Mary sat at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, Your brother will rise.” Martha said, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him.” But some of them said, “Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man have done something so that this man would not have died?” So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, said to him, “Lord, by now there will be a stench; he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” And when he had said this, He 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. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him.
“Jesus wept”…for many, these are two of the most beautiful words in the entire Bible. These words speak to the Humanity of Jesus. I mean, He knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead. In fact, He went as far as to predict it by saying, “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” So, He knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead (and all would be good) and, yet, in the flesh, He still mourned over His Friend’s death and the people that were now in pain over losing Lazarus. Jesus cried; He felt their pain. When we are going through all of our trials and tribulations in this world, it is important to remember that Jesus weeps with and for us, too. He is there with us in the valleys of our Faith Walks. He’s not just there for the “highs” (smiling with us); He’s also there for the “lows” (crying with us). Like a Father cheering His toddlers along as they stumble trying to piece-together a string of steps when first learning how to walk, Jesus is cheering us on. Encouraging us. Building us back-up even when we, like toddlers, fall down. Too often, people forget that God is the God of all – including the diversity of feelings that we experience outside of the seven deadly sins (pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, sloth). While here on earth with us, Jesus loved, laughed, prayed, cried, worked, slept, ate, drank, hungered, thirsted, yelled, flipped tables, whipped folks, etc. God is real and Jesus was human. He knows what we’re going through – He’s “been here, done this”. He’s got a front row seat to everything that happens in this world – the good, the bad, and the ugly. He feels it all. But what Jesus went through in Jerusalem will always be worse than what we go through. I keep a 5” rusty railroad spike on my desk and look at it every day. It’s a reminder to me of Calvary as it’s very similar to the metal spikes that were hammered through Jesus’ arms and legs. Jesus felt every last bit of the pain at His Crucifixion and yet He still loves us (even when we don’t love Him back). So, while we might not always shed a tear when we see a Cross (sometimes forgetting what it was actually like that day for Jesus as He went to His death), Jesus always sheds a tear for us. And, He promises to love us right through to our final judgments in Heaven giving us every chance possible to turn to Him. He is Abba (Father) and we are His Lambs (Children) desperately looking to return to the Eternal Shepherd. Let’s do our best to represent Him well and love as many others as we can in this world in the time that we have left.
Great blog and also very fitting during this tough time for our world!