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Archive for March 10th, 2020

He wept.

Jesus wept.

That’s what I’ve been reading, each day of this season of Lent, as I read from the death of Lazarus to the prayers of Jesus, before his arrest.

As I read and reread the account of the death of Lazarus I have more insights and more questions.

When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “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 11:32-37

Each day I am left with the question,

why did Jesus weep?

did he weep because Lazarus was dead?

  • that doesn’t make sense, because Jesus knew that he would soon raise Lazarus from the grave.

did he weep because he loved Lazarus?

  • he did love Lazarus, but … death would not defeat Lazarus, and Jesus knew that his temporary ‘sleep’ would soon come to an end.

did he weep because he saw Mary (the sister of Lazarus) crying?

  • the passage does say that “he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled” when he saw Mary weeping, but it is not until they take him to Lazarus that his tears begin to fall.

Though those rationales have some hint of truth in their possibilities, I wonder if maybe the tears of Jesus had more to do with his own fate, in the days that were to come. I wonder if it might have been that Jesus was beginning to face his own ‘sleep’.

As Jesus walked through the events leading to his rising of Lazarus, we read that the death of Lazarus (v. 4) “is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” How could the death of Lazarus be for God’s glory?

Had Jesus prevented the death of Lazarus, that would have been great … but probably not miraculous. It would not have cinched it for Jesus as Messiah … for who could raise the dead to life again? By waiting for Lazarus to die, by healing him when there would have been so many around was to, in essence, crown Jesus king of the Jews. Thus, opening him up to his arrest and all that followed.

Back to the verse (v. 4) “it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Has Jesus (God’s Son) been glorified through his healing of Lazarus?

Well … yes. But what exactly does glorified mean? and what does it mean in this specific context?

Glorified means that someone or something typical is viewed or treated or honored as something more … something or someone special (I hear the Dana Carvey character of the Church Lady on Saturday Night Live saying special). This is not the biblical meaning of glorified.

In 1 Corinthians 10:31-32, we are instructed, “whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God. Do not become a stumbling block …” In this we understand that we, as the followers of God, reflect his glory, so we have a responsibility to reflect accurately. God’s glory is who he is, his perfect character. For his glory to be glorified through his son, means that his perfect character and love are reflected through the sacrificial death of his son, for the sake and souls of all people.

In other words,

we could not know of the glory of God’s love for us, except through the death of Christ.

Jesus modelled, for us the sacrificial aspect of reflecting God’s glory … it is not always doing what is easy, what is natural … often it is doing that which might bring us to tears, but the God who he allows us to reflect is eternally glorified.

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