Monday, November 4, 2013

When He Cried...

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is the story about Jesus and Lazarus found in the eleventh chapter of John.

So, Jesus receives urgent news that his friend his sick. The message actually said, "Lord, the one you love is sick" (John 11:3, italics mine). This isn't some acquaintance; this isn't the guy he sees everyday as he heads to the carpentry shop. Jesus loves Lazarus. They were obviously very close, maybe even besties. Anyway, the Lord knows this sickness is for the sole purpose of bringing God glory. He plans to let his friend die. I mean, which is the bigger miracle: lowering a fever or raising a corpse? So Jesus waits and Lazarus dies.

When he makes it back to Bethany Lazarus' sister, Martha runs out to see Jesus. I imagine Martha as the stoic older sister. All business. She'll cry for Lazarus, but only after everyone leaves. She believes Jesus is who he says he is. She knows that if Jesus had been there, Lazarus would not have died. When he says Lazarus will live, Martha completely believes him, though she thinks it's through the resurrection.

Martha and Lazarus have another sister, Mary. She's a little more emotional than Martha. The last time Jesus visited Bethany, Mary, according to Luke 10:39, ignored Martha, and the rules of hospitality, and sat, enthralled, at the Lord's feet. When she heard Jesus had finally made it to see Lazarus, she once again fell at his feet. She wept. The friends who had rushed out with her wept. Jesus was so moved that he wept too.

See, this is the part of the story that I love.  Jesus, the man, cries with his friends. Their pain is as tangible as a knife blade.  They took him to the grave and he wept again. Part of being human is having emotions, and Jesus felt everything we do. He felt humiliation, joy and, in this case sorrow.

 Jesus, the Lord, knows how the story ends. He knows that he knows that he KNOWS that Lazarus will live. But the human part still wept.

There is nothing that you or I will go through that Jesus himself has not experienced. That's what makes him such an awesome savior. God sent him down to be one of us, so he could save us. We don't relate well to people we have nothing in common with. When we cry, Jesus knows that pain. He's cried. He's done more than cry; he's wept. Probably done that ugly, heaving shoulders kind of cry, and he's willing to comfort us when we do the same.

Are you rejoicing today? He's rejoicing with you. Are you hurting? He's hurting with you. Are you unsure, tempted, or frustrated? He's been there and he'll be there with you now. Are you crying? Are you at a tomb? Mourning the death of a loved one, a job, a dream? Fall at his feet. Weep at his feet. He's weeping with you.

But the story's not over. See, Lazarus has been in the grave four days. The Lord wipes his face and in a choked voice asks Martha to have the stone moved. She's worried about the smell. Jesus isn't. He knows the grave is not the end for Lazarus. The grave isn't the end for you either. He has more for you to do.

In the meantime. It's ok to weep. It's ok to just sit there and cry. But feel those arms around you? Those are the arms of Jesus. He's crying too.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. And something I need to remember and keep close to my heart at all times. It is easy to get caught up in life and to forget a little bit.