A tendency in reading this story is to focus on the amazing miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead as the one conclusive proof that Jesus was who he said he was—the Messiah. It’s almost beyond comprehension to imagine the response of those assembled as Lazarus staggered from the tomb, encased in burial cloths and burdened with the weight of spices designed to mask the smell of decay. But let’s not miss Jesus’ reaction at the tomb just moments before.
“When Jesus saw her [Mary] weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he wasdeeply moved in spirit and troubled… Jesus wept,” (John 11.33, 35). Jesus knows our pain and suffering. The author of Hebrews put it this way, “For we do not have a high priest [Jesus] who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses… Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” (Hebrews 11.15-16). Jesus’ intimate connection with our pain should drive us towards him, and towards belief, rather than away.
To remind you of God’s great love, listen to a song we sang this past weekend called Love So Great (performed here by Hillsong). As you do, thank God for his great love—a love that identifies with our deepest grief and pain.