Daily Light from the Lighthouse
"Lazarus is dead; and I am glad..."
It is a surprising thought that Jesus would find any sort of gladness in the death of an individual, especially the death of a friend. He knew very well this man named Lazarus as well as his family. He had sat at supper with them on different occasions, and they were a family that seemed incredibly devoted to Jesus. Why had He not gone to them before this sad and difficult moment? Why had He not at least spoke a word of healing from across the miles as He had done before? Even more astounding, why does Jesus now say that He is glad about what has happened?
The reason that we have trouble understanding Jesus' way of thinking is because of our frail and anemic spiritual minds. God doesn't think like we do. He sees what is invisible to us and knows what we cannot even imagine. Every one around Jesus is concerned about death, but death holds no power over the One who created all that lives. Man sees the bondage of time, space, and matter. God, however, is ageless; He is not constrained by the bonds of this earth.
Before Jesus even leaves for Bethany, His own disciples question His wisdom. When He arrives there, Lazarus' sisters berate Him for His actions or lack of. The entire crowd is wailing and doubting so much that it causes grief in the heart of Jesus. So many times in our own lives we have been disappointed with Jesus. He didn't show up when we thought He should have, or He didn't do things the way we thought He should. Our disappointment led to grief and eventually for many a lack of faith. It is impossible to see what God sees when our eyes are not on Him and have full faith and assurance that He does all things well even though we don't understand what He is doing.
There is one person in this story that never complains, Lazarus. One may argue that He is dead, but that is the point. He is completely helpless and has no will of His own. Jesus is glad that He will not only see His friend again, alive, but also that Lazarus and others will understand what it means to completely trust God. Jesus stands in the midst of the doubters and nay sayers and calls Lazarus' name. Somewhere beyond the terrestrial into the heavenly Lazarus is called back to the earthly body that he once possessed. As he emerges from the tomb, the crowds cry that truly this Man is the Son of God! There are no words that can make glad the heart of Jesus like those words!
May you make Jesus glad today by dying to self with His will alone as your own!