“Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.””
John 11:1-4, 6-7 ESV
Today’s reading passages comes from Ezekiel and the 11th Chapter of John, one of the common links between these two passages is: waiting. Ezekiel shows us that there is a watchman that is waiting. The watchman is waiting for news or a change in the current predicament. The watchman has been given a charge of telling when something is going to happen.
In John, I realize that there is a lot of waiting that is happening. From the previous times of reading this passage, I see the waiting of Mary and Martha, where they are waiting for Jesus to come to be with him doing their brother’s, Lazarus, death. While re-reading this I can see the waiting of Christ. When you breeze through the passage, you assume Jesus takes his time to get to Bethany, but he is purposefully waiting.
But when you really look at it from a new perspective, we can see how much the pain of knowing what’s going to happen affects Christ. Christ understood that he needed to wait for Lazarus to pass away and noted that God‘s glory could be shown in and through Christ. But Jesus was human and he felt all of our emotions. He knew that his friend was dying. He knew he had to wait. He knew that he had to allow that things to happen that he could have prevented. Let that sink in us. How much pain and strength do you have to go through and to know that what’s on the far end is going to be for God‘s goodness and glory.
As the watchman is waiting in anticipation of something that he doesn’t understand, but knows something is going to happen. The watchman has a duty to stay there in anticipation of what’s coming. The watchman has a duty of giving the news good or bad. The watchmen is in it for his mission.
“After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” ……Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” ….Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” … Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” … Jesus wept.”
John 11:11, 14-15, 21-23, 25-26, 35 ESV
Christ knows what is going to happen. Christ has a bird’s eye view of what’s going to happen. But he is faithful to the fullness of God‘s glory. We acknowledge and see how painful it was for Christ when he comes to see his friend. One of the most powerful verses in the Bible, which is the shortest is here and John 11… Jesus wept. This is not just a weeping. This is a mournful cry, a deep agonizing cry, a visceral wail, and a mournful response. Jesus experienced the pain of waiting, and it was evident here.
This brings Jesus’ experiences as human into a different light for me. It shows me that Jesus experienced before the cross, very hard situations in which he had to allow things to happen in order for God‘s grace and mercy, and God’s glory to be revealed. It’s not stating that he didn’t have for remorse or pain, but to the contrary, he experience all of this, in light of being all powerful. Christ, love for us, extend so much that he would, and did take all the pain all the suffering, and he experienced it for us. When we are waiting for things to come, Jesus is there with us. Jesus has experienced the same pain of waiting that we have. And through his experience, he can comfort us. And in our experience when we get to the other side of the waiting we can comfort others as well. Let us be a blessing to others.