John 11:1-45 before you read it. It is the story of Lazarus.
Of all the miracles Jesus performed. Of all the wise advise he has given us. Nothing is more powerful to me than those two words. Jesus wept. I am in awe. The son of God who came to earth to lead us out of darkness shows us his humanity. He weeps. Was he weeping because his good friend Lazarus is dead? I don't think so. I believe Jesus knows that Lazarus can be brought back from death. I think he wept when he saw all of the human suffering this death had left in its wake. Maybe, he also realized that his own death on the cross was going to create the same kind of suffering to those whom he loved.
Jesus becomes very real to me in these moments. He is not just an historical figure who it was claimed performed miracles and spoke and inspired the multitudes of people. Sure, Jesus was God incarnate but he was also one of us. He wept. By weeping he tells us, especially us men, that grief for whatever circumstance is a very human condition and it is an important step in the process of healing.
I have a relative who, shortly after her mother's death, said that she was not grieving her loss. I told her that in time it would take place. It did. Like most of you I have lost a lot of people, both friends and relatives, in my life. When we do prayers of the people during the service I have to give the short list of people who have died. I usually put on that list those who may not be getting a lot of prayers from anyone else. That's part of getting older I suppose.
No one expected Jesus to raise Lazarus, especially a four days dead Lazarus. Jesus speaks to the Father saying, ”Father, I thank you for having heard me.” and then he tells Lazarus to come out and he comes out.
If you read further on in this chapter, you see that word of this latest miracle gets back to the pharisees. They see Jesus as troublesome. They fear that everyone will start believing in Jesus and then the Romans will crack down on them and the bottom line is, the Pharisees will lose their jobs. The Pharisees have a little problem with the big picture. Their salvation is right in front of them and they can't see.
I have to give praise for the apostles in this story although they are only mentioned in the beginning. They don't want to go anywhere near Jerusalem because they remember the Jews trying to stone him there. But Thomas, remember doubting Thomas, says “we might as well go along and probably get killed with him.”
In bible study we are almost always asked the question to picture ourselves in the situation presented and my question to you is, what would you do. Would you have gone down that road to Jerusalem? I ask myself the same question. Am I that committed that I would give my life for Jesus? Would I make the journey to Jerusalem? I want to say I would. I believe you would too.