Summary: The humanity of Jesus relates to your experience. The authority of Jesus provides meaning to your experience. The presence of Jesus walks with you through your experience.
Warren Wiersbe, theologian and writer, tells a story as taken from a source. “A miserable looking woman recognized F.B. Meyer (preacher and teacher) on the train and ventured to share her burden with him. For years she had cared for a crippled daughter who brought great joy to her life. She made tea for her each morning, then left for work, knowing that in the evening the daughter would be there when she arrived home. But the daughter had died, and the grieving mother was alone and miserable. Home was not "home" anymore. Meyer gave her wise counsel. "When you get home and put the key in the door, say aloud, ’Jesus, I know You are here!’ and be ready to greet Him directly when you open the door. And as you light the fire tell Him what has happened during the day; if anybody has been kind, tell Him; if anybody has been unkind, tell Him, just as you would have told your daughter. At night stretch out your hand in the darkness and say, ’Jesus, I know You are here!’" Some months later, Meyer was back in that neighborhood and met the woman again, but he did not recognize her. Her face radiated joy instead of announcing misery. "I did as you told me," she said, "and it has made all the difference in my life, and now I feel I know Him."
Is it any wonder? John 11:33-44 gives us an inside glance of who Jesus was and is. 33 When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, he was moved with indignation and was deeply troubled. 34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Then Jesus wept. 36 The
people where who standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him.”
These verses, for me, are some of the most powerful in the Bible. The reason they speak to me relates to the humanity of Jesus. Here we see him, the Son of God, who came to bring Salvation to a lost world, weeping. The story involves three of his closest friends - Mary, Martha, and their brother, Lazarus. Jesus often hung with them in their home in Bethany, which was on route to Jerusalem. They shared many laughs together and ate many meals together.
When Lazarus was ill, Jesus was away on a ministry call. By the time he returned it was too late, for Lazarus had died. Of course, reading the story further shows us that his being away was part of God’s plan to show people the Person he really was, when Jesus raised Lazarus to life again!
Another important thing is happening though, through Lazarus’ death. Part of Jesus’ mission while on earth was to become acquainted with human experiences. Death was one of those experiences. So, as he returned to Bethany to visit the sisters, he saw them broken, in pain and grief. He felt the grief of his own heart. 33 When Jesus saw that Mary and the people with her were crying, he was terribly upset 34 and asked, “Where have you put his body?” They replied, “Lord, come and you will see.” 35 Jesus started crying, 36 and the people said, “See how much he loved Lazarus.” (CEV)
Loved him he did. Death became very personal for Jesus at this moment, as he dealt with the pain of having lost one of his closest friends.
Jesus knows the pain and grief that comes with having lost someone you love deeply. He’s been there.
There is something even more significant than this. Jesus was brought face to face with what it fells like to be powerless to change that situation and the helplessness of not being able to turn back the clock and undo what had happened. Not that he could not change it or even would not, because Lazarus’ death was for the purpose of bringing glory to God when he was raised to life. However, the experience brought Jesus face to face with how we feel, for we cannot do as he was about to do.
There is a second reason why this passage is so powerful to me. Jesus demonstrates the power of God to over-rule death.
43 When Jesus had finished praying, he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The man who had been dead came out. His hands and feet were wrapped with strips of burial cloth, and a cloth covered his face.
This physical demonstration of God’s power to raise the dead was to put death to death. God’s power to raise the dead removes the sting and pain of death. This miracle was performed to remind people of all ages, even us here today, that those who trust in God will have new life! It teaches us that death is not the end, but the beginning of life with God, eye to eye! The Bible explains it for us (1 Corinthians 15:51-57)