John 11:32-36 English Standard Version (ESV)
32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
There were two sisters, Martha and Mary. They had a brother named Lazarus who was very ill. They lived in a town/village called Bethany, about 2 miles outside of Jerusalem. This would be Jesus' last stop before his "triumphant entry" into Jerusalem. Mary and Martha had sent for Jesus because their brother was very ill. Jesus loved all three of these siblings, and it confused his disciples when he told them that they should spend more time somewhere else rather than go to Bethany right away. At first he said that he would go to wake up Lazarus. The disciples were relieved, thinking Jesus meant that Lazarus had only fallen asleep. Then he plainly said that Lazaraus had died and that he was glad to not have been there so that they would truly believe.
When they saw Jesus, separately, both Martha and Mary said that if he had been there, their brother would not have died. Everyone around was sad for Lazarus having died and for the sisters who no longer had their brother. Jesus asked where Lazarus was put to rest. This is a time when Jesus was deeply moved and troubled. John 11:35 is the shortest verse of the bible, "Jesus wept." The other Jews around were still wondering why Jesus had not healed Lazarus from his sickness. Jesus did not know the blind man whom he had healed, but Lazarus and his sisters seemed to have been good (loved) friends of Jesus.
Jesus went to the tomb of Lazarus. Lazarus had already been dead for four days. Four STINKING days! Jesus reminded Martha what he had told her. John 11:40b "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?" Jesus thanked God loudly, so that everyone there could hear him acknowledge the one who sent him. He then called for Lazarus to come out of the tomb, in which he did! His hands and feet were still bound with the linen strips and his face was still covered with the cloth they used during his burial. Many of the Jews who witnessed this miracle believed in him. Other Jews went to the Pharisees to tell them about what Jesus had done.
I have wept several times this past week. Last week was Memorial Day weekend. When I think about those who have sacrificed it all for the good of our nation, I cannot help but be moved. I have been stressed out by my children's behaviors, the state of our home, the frustrations of our finances, and the challenges of social distancing. I have tried to distance myself from what is happening in our country right now, but that really isn't possible, is it? The protests from around the country are not just about one man's murder, but so much more than that.
Our nation is hurting. Our world is broken. We are in need of a Savior!!! When I think of just a few injustices in our country, when I think of how certain people are treated by "the system", when I think of the people who did not make it home because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, when I think of the families who say goodbye to their family members in law enforcement, when I think of people I know who have an invisible target on them because of what they look like, I cry.
Jesus wept with his friends. They had experienced the loss of their brother. Lazarus was his friend, and he knew that Lazarus believed and trusted Jesus. He knew what he was going to do about Lazarus, but he also knew what he was going to do for all people. The miracle was not just for Lazarus to have life on this earth again and to make the sisters happy, but it was to show those who did not believe that Jesus truly was sent by God, and was the son of God. Jesus prayed openly to his Father.
Our God feels our pain, our frustration, our sorrows. He has not abandoned us. This may or may not be the time for Jesus' Second Coming. That is not for us to know, or even to try to figure out. What we are supposed to do is to pray to Him who gives us comfort. We are to do what He commands. We are to love one another, and we are to love our enemies too. We are to be the light of the world, and not join in its darkness. Let us stand on the promises of Jesus, and not on the turmoils of this world. Let us look to Him, seek His answers, and not our own.