Monday, April 20, 2020

Monday - John 11 - Friends of Christ

HIS story (of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead) reveals to us 2 very different facets of Christ's life and ministry. The story is simultaneously a presentation  of  Jesus' private and public actions and attitudes. Of course, there was perfect consistency in Christ, but the care that Christ had for those who  were closest to Him (in this situation) is truly remarkable. Specifically, the love that Jesus  had  for  Mary, Martha and Lazarus was something very special (John 11:5).

Before he died, Lazarus was sick. Jesus was so close to Lazarus that Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus about Lazarus without even having to use Lazarus' name (vs. 3). He was simply called "the one you love" - or as we might say, your best friend. It is noteworthy that Jesus did not rush to Lazarus' side immediately (vs. 6). He knew the reason for this ailment. The glory of God was about to be revealed to Mary and Martha (vs. 40), and to the whole community (vs. 4). Jesus literally allowed Lazarus' suffering to continue, and for death to come upon him, so that the maximum possible honor could be given to the Father.

The great glory of God connected with resurrection power is seen marvelously here in this story (John 11:43-45). But greater scenes were to follow. Not  too long after this Jesus would die and be raised as well (John 11:50-52). And how about our own resurrection?  What glory there will be when Jesus returns and the graves burst open! He will receive great glory through the death and resurrection of all His friends, not just Lazarus'.

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