Most of us are familiar with the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. It's pretty miraculous! No one who followed Jesus saw a miracle greater than this one.
The story reveals Christ's power but it also reveals the struggle of humanity to understand and to believe.
17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Have you, like Mary and Martha, thought that Jesus was too late for your need? Or have you ever asked where He was when you needed Him the most?
We are assured, over and over again, that even in our suffering, God is with us. And yet, most of us suspect, at one time or another, that Mary and Martha are absolutely right--if God were with us:
we would not have gotten cancer
our loved one would not have died
we would not have lost our home, etc.
WHERE ARE YOU GOD?!
Sometimes it seems like Jesus is always a few days too late.
In those seasons of our lives, we must dare to read to the end of this story. For the end of the Lazarus story is not, in fact, the end of Lazarus, but a new beginning for him.
The same God who breathes into Ezekiel’s dry bones also
orders Lazarus out of the tomb and
raises Jesus from the dead on Easter morning.
And that same God will redeem creation and raise us all to new life.
What we don't always understand is that God's answers to our prayer are not always found on this earth.
Healing, wholeness, life, redemption, freedom, and deliverance are often only found when we get to heaven.
Jesus was not late. Jesus was suffering. He was heart-broken that his closest friend was sick.
But notice what He said earlier in the chapter, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it" (verse 4). When Jesus heard of Lazarus' situation, He believed that His Father would turn that situation into something that would bring Him the glory.
This is how Jesus sees each one of our sufferings--an opprotunity to bring God glory!
And just like Jesus asked Martha we need to ask ourselves... "Do you believe this?"
O God, sometimes it is SO hard to see your presence in the midst of the dry seasons of our lives.
Help us to know that
in our darkness you are the light
in our suffering you hurt with us
in our pain you are present
in our hopelessness you are our hope
in our disbelief you are bringing glory to Yourself
in death you are near to bring new life and hope for each new day.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
4 One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.