He told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”
Jesus knew his friend Lazarus was deathly ill. Jesus also knew what no one else did: God would raise Lazarus from his grave. Still, Lazarus’s sisters were pleading with Jesus to come and heal their brother. Instead, he waited till Lazarus died. Why? To show God’s power over death.
Lazarus probably didn’t appreciate Jesus’ delayed arrival. With his life slipping away, Lazarus may have wondered, “Where is Jesus? Why doesn’t he come?” But Jesus’ mission was not about his friends’ timeline. It was about God’s. The Lord’s timing is always right. And here, to demonstrate his dominance over death, Jesus waited till everyone could be absolutely sure that Lazarus was dead.
Now, Jesus’ intentional delay does not mean he was insensitive to grief. He too “was deeply moved in spirit and troubled,” and he wept. While people then and now may reason that he wept because of Lazarus, it was surely even deeper than that. Jesus wept because death is still our enemy. Far from being insensitive about death, Jesus came to take on the curse of death for us. And his purpose in all of this was God’s glory, so that we might believe in God and in his power, through Jesus, to cancel our sin and give us new life forever in his presence.
Do you believe in this Savior?
Lord Jesus, we know you care because you came to die for our sake. Thank you for the promise of new life forever. In your name, Amen.
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