1 Samuel 29:1-30:20; John 11:30-54; Psalms 116:15-117:2; Proverbs 24:28-29
NT: “As soon as Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and told him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died!” When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, he was deeply moved in his spirit and troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked. “Lord,” they told him, “come and see.” Jesus wept… Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. “Remove the stone,” Jesus said. Martha, the dead man’s sister, told him, “Lord, there is already a stench because he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you heard me. I know that you always hear me, but because of the crowd standing here I said this, so that they may believe you sent me.” After he said this, he shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out bound hand and foot with linen strips and with his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and let him go.”” (John 11:32-35, 38-44 CSB)
This passage has always been an insightful picture of the heart of our Lord every time I read it. Jesus knew that Lazarus was going to be raised back to life – so why did He weep? Why was He deeply moved? He didn’t weep over the death of Lazarus. He wept because of the anguish that Mary and the other mourners were experiencing. Our Lord is not some emotionless uninvolved third party. He cares deeply for us and empathizes with our pain and sadness. Our anguish causes Him to be deeply moved. He can be grieved, and often is grieved… even though He transcends all hardship and suffering. When Jesus called for the stone covering Lazarus’ tomb to be removed, Martha was quick to say, “Are you sure you want to do that? It’s going to stink.” How many times do we prevent God’s glory from being displayed in us and through us because we aren’t willing to put up with the unpleasant? Jesus responded by essentially saying, “You can keep the stone on the tomb and miss out on what God wants to do, or you can remove the stone, endure the stench, and experience the glory of God.” Thankfully, they opted to remove the stone, and Jesus performed the seventh sign that proved that He was (and is) the Son of God, and that we (literally) can have life in His name. He authoritatively commanded Lazarus to come out, and immediately Lazarus came out of death and into life! He was alive, but his grave clothes were still on him, so Jesus said to Lazarus’ friends and family, “Unwrap him and let him go.” Often times, that is the privilege we have as believers as we obey Christ’s commission to make disciples. Christ, by the Holy Spirit brings people from death to life, and then we, as disciple makers, help them out of their grave clothes so that they can walk freely in the new life they have been given.
Psalms: “Praise the Lord, all nations! Glorify him, all peoples! For his faithful love to us is great; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Hallelujah!” (Psalms 117:1-2 CSB)
The word “glory” from the passage in John above is translated from the Greek word ‘doxa.’ This particular psalm could be considered a doxology. Doxology is a compound word made from the Greek word ‘doxa’ (glory) and logos (words, typically spoken). Therefore a doxology is an utterance that ascribes glory… or words of glory. The writer of this psalm calls, not only the people of Israel, but all peoples from every nation to praise the Lord and give Him Glory. Why? His checed (God’s zealous love, kindness, mercy, goodness) towards all humanity is great… and His emeth (truth, reliability, stability, faithfulness) to His word, will, and ways endures forever. He is always good and He does not change… and the reason any of us have life and are able to experience any good thing, is because of His mercy toward us.