Only two little words, but what a volume they speak about our Lord! Scripture records that Jesus had three very close friends: Mary, Martha and their brother, Lazarus. They lived in Bethany. He shared meals with them, talked with them and loved them. And the Text informs us of the great love they all three had for Him. Remember Jesus was human as well as divine, and these three were close friends of His. One day word reached Him that Lazarus was very ill, nigh unto death. Though the family must have been very spiritual, they were also just folks like us. And when Lazarus seemed at the point of death, they immediately sought help from the Lord because they knew how much He loved Lazarus. But Jesus did not go immediately to Bethany. He lingered for two more days before going, saying to His disciples, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God should be glorified through it.” John 11:4
But when Jesus set his face to go to Jerusalem, the disciples reminded Him that the Jews had sought to stone Him in Judea, but He said, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” The disciples thought He meant Lazarus was just sleeping, but Jesus said plainly, “Lazarus is dead.” John 11:6-14 (paraphrased) When they arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been in the tomb four days. As He approached the tomb, Mary said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When He saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. They led Him to the tomb, and Scripture records poignantly, “Jesus wept.” Then He prayed, “Father, I thank You that you heard Me, and I know that You always hear Me, but so that the people standing here may believe that You sent me, I call, “Lazarus, come forth!” And Lazarus bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped with a cloth came forth, and Jesus said, “Loose him and let him go.” John 11:35-44
As we stand by the open graves of our loved ones and weep, remember that Jesus’ great heart is touched by our grief just as His was over the beloved Lazarus. We do not weep alone. But more importantly, remember that even as Lazarus, we will be called forth from earthly tombs, Jesus still weeps over us (remember His tears over Jerusalem?) and with us. He loves us and died for us. Even as He called Lazarus from the tomb, He will call the faithful some day from death to life everlasting. What a Savior both in life and in death! Let us bow in reverence before His Holy Presence!
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