“This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” John 11: 4
Jesus had just received a message that his beloved friend Lazarus was ill. Jesus responded with what seemed like little concern. He said it was not unto death, but for the glory of God. Jesus waited two days before he headed to Judea, a place that had threatened to stone him earlier, his disciples even reminded him. Jesus tells them, Lazarus is sleeping and he is going to wake him up. His disciples thought Jesus meant Lazarus was resting, but Jesus was saying Lazarus was dead. Jesus said he was glad, for the sake of his disciples that he was not there when Lazarus died, it was intended to add to their faith. Four days after Lazarus died, Jesus arrives to the home of Lazarus’ sisters. Martha ran out to Jesus and said her brother would not have died if Jesus, in whom she believed could have healed him, had been there to do just that. For four days Lazarus laid in his grave, already beginning to stink, Jesus said to Martha, “Thy brother shall rise again.” Martha is thinking, the resurrection of the last day, while Jesus is talking about ‘today’, in the flesh. Jesus states, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?”
One can sense the humanity and compassion Christ had when he looked at Mary, who proclaimed the same words as Martha, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died”, and also as he saw the grief that the sisters and the crowd displayed, Jesus groaned and was troubled. Jesus, now at the grave, weeps. Once again, he groans after he hears others proclaim, “Why didn’t he heal Lazarus like he did others?”, after all he loved Lazarus. Did they not know? Did they forget? Already a young girl and a soldiers son was brought back to life… resurrected and returned to their loved ones. Jesus, right on time, prays, thanking God our father, for hearing him, and for responding. With a loud voice, Jesus cries out “Lazarus, come forth”. Lazarus exits the grave, bound and covered in grave clothes, Jesus proclaims “Loose him, and let him go”. After witnessing this glorious event, many more believed on the Lord Jesus and who he was.
Of course the Pharisees, instead of embracing Christ, grew concern over the potential that the Romans would come and take their place, and their nation. Yet, Gods perfect plan required another death. And so it goes, despite the threats, Christ continues to reveal who He was. Eventually, as prophesied, Christ is crucified. Jesus told them this was to happen so that God would be glorified. Why then, should one be surprised, or disbelieve in His resurrection, after all, through others He already displayed the resurrection life three times! Before the time of the cross, Christ performed many miracles. Just like Mary and Martha asked regarding Lazarus, one could ask, as the soldiers did, why did Jesus not save Himself from such a torturous death? Because, without death, there is no resurrection, without the resurrection there is no glory. Jesus, the lamb, as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, died, but not held down, was resurrected and in doing so also gave us, who believe, the promise of our own resurrection yet to come, leading us forever into eternal glory with our Heavenly Father.
Do not be surprised. What He has done for others, He will also do for you, if only you would believe. Romans 10: 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. An earthly, flesh resurrection is not guaranteed for us – yet we know it is possible; but eternal life is surely ours, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Help us, Lord Jesus, to trust you in all things. Help us to seek your face daily; please give us the eyes to see you and the ears to hear you. We place our hope in you alone, knowing full well you hold our future in your hands. We are a stubborn people, you told us three times – you showed us three times – the resurrection power you have. We thank you that you did not stop there, but you also personally raised from the dead, victorious and triumphant over the grave. Thank you for the suffering you endured on our behalf, thank you for the victories you won for us, and thank you for the gift of eternal life. To you alone we give honor, praise and glory!
ABOUT DEB: Deb is a founding member of the Kingdom Writers Ministry of Victory Christian Church and is also the Director of the VCC Photography Ministry. As a long-time member of VCC, she serves faithfully at the church, is currently working toward her degree in Web & Graphic Design, and is the owner of 'Heart Marks'.