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Jesus Wept
John 11:1-44

by David A. DePra

     Lazarus was sick. And Mary and Martha sent for Jesus
so that He could come and heal him. But when Jesus heard
that Lazarus was sick, He did not go to him. Instead, He stayed
where He was another two days. He also said, "This sickness
is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of
God might be glorified thereby." (John 11:4) Clearly, Jesus
wasn't the least bit concerned about this situation. He
fully intended to take His time getting to Lazarus.
     Have you ever felt as if God just HAD to act or you'd die?
Yet despite your anxiousness, God seems so indifferent. He
seems like He is treating you the way He treated Lazarus in
this passage.
     After two days, Jesus decided to go to Lazarus, which
according to 11:17, would be another two days journey. But
amazingly, Jesus knew Lazarus was already dead. He said,
"I'm glad for your sakes I was not there, to the intent you
may believe." The more we read on in this passage, the more
we realize that God is not shocked or suprised by anything
that is happening. He has everything fully under control.
     Jesus arrives to great weeping among those who loved
Lazarus. But that is not all. Martha actually expresses
dissappointment with Jesus. She basically says, "Why didn't
you come when we sent for You? If you had come, Lazarus
wouldn't have died. Now it's too late." (11:21)
     Jesus tried to tell her what He was about to do. He said,
"Your brother is going to rise from the dead." (11:23) Martha
had not considered the possibility that Jesus was talking about
now. She thought He as referring to the resurrection yet
to come for all believers. So she said, "I know he'll rise
on the last day." (11:24)
     Have you ever been dissappointed with God? Or thought
that He let you down? Or felt as if He was indifferent to your
crys for help? Have you ever thought, not to God's face, but
in the back of your mind, that God could have done
more; could have been more faithful to you?
     Most Christians face these issues at one time or another.
But we tend to hide these feelings where we think God can't
see or hear them. Yet He does see and hear them. And it
might surprise us to find out how He reacts to them. We
will discover that in this passage.
     Jesus told Martha that He wasn't talking about a
resurrection yet to come. He said, "I AM THE RESURRECTION
AND THE LIFE." Jesus was telling her that He is the resurrection
NOW -- not just someday. And He was about to prove it.
     When Jesus saw how His friends reacted to His late
arrival, He was troubled. Indeed, Jesus wept. (11:33-35)
Why did Jesus weep? Was it because His good friend
Lazarus had died? No. For He already knew He was going to
raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus wept because of the
unbelief He saw in those who doubted Him. He wept for
them because their condition kept them from experiencing
Truth and freedom. He wept for them because He wanted
them to know Him and they were proving they didn't.
     Even the Jews thought that Jesus was weeping because His
friend had died. Their tone indicates that they thought Jesus was
experiencing failure. They as much as said, "Well, I guess He has
met His match. He opened the eyes of the blind, but couldn't keep
this man from dying." (11:37)
     Interestingly, not even these Jews made room for the possibility
that Jesus could raise the dead. Just like Martha, they focused on
Jesus' failure to keep Lazarus alive. Now that Lazarus had died,
they seemed to think all was lost, and that it was too late to do
anything about it.
     It is so easy to feel this way in life. All of the missed chances.
All of the wasted years. It's too late. All is lost. But no. It is
never too late. And there is no sin, no death, no problem which
the Redemption of Jesus Christ cannot redeem.
     Don't misunderstand. There will be physical consequences
for our choices in this life, in the natural realm. Many of them God
will not choose to remove. But spiritually, there is no sin so deep
that the Redemption cannot reach. That means full restoration,
without any loss, without any record of it in the mind of God. We
need to believe this, and to rest in it through Christ.
     Lazarus had been dead four days and the stone had been
put firmly in place. Yet Jesus, despite all of the lack of faith which
surrounded Him, went ahead and raised Lazarus from the dead.
He IS the resurrection and the life. Everything He touches is
eternally quickened unto God.
     We see from this story many things, not the least of which is
the heart of God towards all of our shortcomings and lack of
faith. We don't see a God who is angry with us, or ready to
punish us because we fail Him. No. We see one who cries and
weeps because He so wants to share His love with us, and yet
knows that He cannot YET do so to a full extent. We are too bound
by the natural. Presently, too prone to unbelief.
     This is reminescent of the time Joseph wanted to reveal
himself to his brothers, but could not. It nearly killed him to have
to keep his identity from them. It was because he loved them, and
wanted to embrace them. But he had to wait. So it is with the
Lord. He wants us to know Him and to love Him. But so often we
are blind to Him; to His intentions towards us. Sometimes we even
secretly accuse Him of being indifferent to us. So God waits.
     God is the most sensitive being in existance. Rather than be
callous to us, He feels as we feel. That is evermore so since
Jesus became one of us. He is able to be touched by the feeling
of OUR infirmities. When we hurt, we can be sure a part of Him
hurts too. And even when WE are callous, we can be sure that
He is weeping over those things we are too blind to see.
God is love. Agape. True agape love can be described in many
ways. But this definition seems to hit the nail on the head:

Agape love is the heart attitude of seeking God's highest

for the individual loved, regardless of personal cost to myself,

or to them.

     This was the continual attitude Jesus Christ had towards those
around Him. And even when they failed Him, misunderstood Him,
indeed, even crucified Him, He nevertheless stood firm in God's
Highest for them. This the attitude He has towards us today.

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