It was during one of his travels when the shocking, urgent news reached Jesus that one of his very best friends, Lazarus, was dying. As Lazarus’ body grew more weary each day and his eyes seem to sink deeper within his forehead, his sisters, Mary and Martha, held out hope.
These siblings had watched Jesus – with their very own naked eyes – as he had healed hundreds. He could heal Lazarus too! But the clock was ticking, and they were running out of time.
“So, although Jesus loved Martha, Mary and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days.”
My heart breaks when I think about Mary, sitting on the edge of Lazarus’ bed, watching the sun fall deeper in the sky as tears rolled down her cheeks. I can see Martha busying herself fetching fresh sheets and water for Lazarus, all the while anxiously expecting Jesus to walk through the door. But Jesus never came. And Lazarus died.
When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Have you ever felt like Jesus didn’t show up when he was supposed to? What do you do when it seems as though Jesus doesn’t care that your heart is breaking?
I’ve been there. I remember laying in bed, as my marriage was literally hamorrhaging – falling apart before my very eyes. Over and over again, I quoted Psalm 29:4. “The voice of the Lord is powerful.” I knew that God created the world with simple commands. If He so pleased, with one word, He could heal my mess of a marriage. He could fix what was broken. But, no break through came. No apology. No restoration. It seemed like Jesus didn’t show up.
You’ve been there. As you watch the pregnancy test says “negative” yet again. When despite every effort, the house gets foreclosed on. When regardless of every prayer, the cancer takes your loved one. Yes, there are times when it feels as if Jesus simply turns his back.
But, the story did not end there for Mary and Martha.
“Where have you put Lazarus?” Jesus asked them. They told him, “Lord come and see.” Then Jesus wept.
These weren’t a few teardrops escaping from the corner of his brown eyes. No, Jesus broke down and uncontrollably wept – shoulders heaving as sobs shook his body. He cried because he felt their pain, their agony, their disappointment and grief. Jesus wept with Mary and Martha over what should have been. He doesn’t sit back and sigh as we endure life’s heartbreaks. No, he weeps with us when we go through life’s valleys – the consequence of a fallen world.
“Lazaruz’ death will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s son.”
With a simple command, Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. You see, there was a greater purpose for Lazarus’ death. There is a greater purpose for your suffering.
“For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.” Habakkuk 1:5