Daily Reading: (John 11:34-36):
“Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him” (John 11:34-36).
It is healthy to cry when a loved one passes as we are following Jesus’ example. It isn’t that we are forgetting the Resurrection, but we are moved like Jesus by the love that we have for the one who has passed. Even before Jesus would die on the cross, we are told who He is and what He can do. However, some Christians will take the Martha approach in this story.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:21-24). Martha believes Jesus will work a miracle in the future (in the Resurrection) but has doubt that God wants to work a miracle for her today. God wants us to know that He is still the God of miracles today. Jesus wants you to know what He told Martha that day: “I am the resurrection and the life.” We realize that the Resurrection wasn’t something Jesus did but it is who He is.
By the time Jesus arrived on the scene, Lazarus had already been dead for four days. Martha thought that Jesus was four days too late. That is why she said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). Lord if you would have acted sooner in my situation then I wouldn’t be where I am at today. She did not believe that the “I Am” was there to meet her present need. Today, God stands at the point of your need. What miracle do you need from Him? Believe that He is still the same miracle-working God today. Believe that you will see the glory of God, that is what Jesus says in verse 40.
“Father, I thank You,” is what Jesus said in the most dire of all situations. If thanksgiving can raise the dead (verse 41), then let us give thanks in all things so we might experience God’s victory in our lives. Unfortunately, the human tendency is to murmur and complain and not give thanks in all things. Complaining magnifies the problem, whereas thanksgiving pleases God because it magnifies Him. We should thank God that He is our answer and that He has already given every blessing to us (Ephesians 1:3)
Three different times Jesus’ love for Lazarus is questioned. What we learn from this is that the enemy will use circumstances to try to get you to doubt God’s love for you.
First was Martha in verses 20–21. The second person to confront Jesus was Mary inverse 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.” The third group was the mourners in verses 36–37: “So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?’”
Jesus’ timing was always perfect. Why Jesus were you four days late? Four days is key to understanding the timing of the glory. The Jews say, that “for three days the soul goes to the grave, thinking the body may return (Job 14:22).” On the fourth day there is no coming back from death. The odor also proved that this was no magic trick or that that Lazarus might have just come out of a coma. Jesus arrived four days after Lazarus died so they might “see the glory of God” (John 11:40). Physical death was not the end for Lazarus or any other believer because Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life.