Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lazarus, come forth! and its OK to cry

This week I'm preaching from John 11, the raising of Lazarus. This is an interesting passage with Jesus' escalating conflict with and rejection by the religious leadership. Given all that had happened in the previous chapters and the escalating attempts on His life He's headed out into the countryside for a little while. While He's gone, His dear friend Lazarus falls ill, very ill. 

What strikes me most in this passage is that well known verse, "Jesus wept."  Here is the God of the universe, weeping, not just at the death of His friend, He knew He was about to raise Lazarus, but for His fallen creation. It is a reminder that Jesus has experienced the pain of loss, much greater than we can imagine. As well, He is not some distant, uncaring God. Our fallen state grieves Him so much that He came to earth to live as one of us and die for us. 

The writer of Hebrews tells us.

Hebrews 4:14-15 (ESV)
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Jesus wept. He still grieves the lost. He is still God. He understands what we face in life far better than we can imagine.

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