Summary: When hurt and grief come our way, Jesus is there for us, to hurt with us, to cry with us but also to point us toward healing... are you ready and willing to listen to Jesus and take the steps to healing He is calling you to take?
Date Written: April 2, 2011
Date Preached: April 3, 2011
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: Falling in Love With Jesus
Sermon Title: Jesus – Resurrection & Life
Sermon Text: John 11:32-44 [ESV]
32Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." 33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34And he said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." 35Jesus wept. 36So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" 37But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?" Jesus 38Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days." 40Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?" 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me." 43When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out." 44The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
Let’s look at these verses and see what we can glean for our hearts this morning:
32Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."
v.32 – This verse reveals to us that Martha and Mary were human, and they were hurting just like YOU and me when we suffer loss! Like Mary here in this verse when we suffer a great loss in our lives, we tend to cry out against God like Mary did…
Mary said… “Jesus, if you would have just been here…this would not have happened.” Now we know that this was said in her deep grief and pain, but this statement from her basically blamed her brother’s death on Jesus.
When we are hurting… when we suffer great loss, we do the same thing… we say things like, “God how could you let this happen?” or “God if you loved me you would not have let this happen…” Basically blaming God for the tragedy in our lives.
33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.
On the surface when we read this verse we see Jesus sharing in Mary’s grief, for many reasons. First He loved Mary and 2nd He loved Lazarus… and here He was hurting with Mary in her time of great grief.
But when we investigate the original language… the Greek we find that our English translation misleads us about Jesus’ emotions at this point. The phrases “deeply moved” and “greatly troubled” reveal an anger that was boiling up in Jesus…
Death was an evil and terrible taskmaster that robbed His creation of much joy in this life. Thinking all the way back to the Garden of Eden, Jesus was MAD at death… Jesus was furious with SIN… they had brought so much pain! But we can also see how Jesus could have been a bit disappointed with Mary in her obvious lack of faith in Him…
You see, at this point, Mary had confessed that she believed that if Jesus had been there BEFORE Lazarus died that Jesus could have saved him… but for Mary DEATH was the final door… the line one could not cross… She revealed NO faith in Jesus to cross death’s threshold and save her brother… in fact the thought never even crossed her mind…
But to give Mary the benefit of the doubt, she was human, and she was in great grief and sorrow over the loss of her brother. This is why I believe Jesus reacts as He does…
You see I believe that even though Mary’s faith may have been shaken, Jesus still loved her and still felt and understood her sorrow, grief and pain. He was NOT absent in her grief and He was NOT apathetic to her sorrow…