Our Savior felt strong feelings at the tomb of Lazarus. Let’s enter the scene and meditate upon the what and why of those feelings.
In the beginning of Jesus’ ministry he tells some curious disciples, “Come and see", John 1:39. This in response to their inquiry of where he was staying. Really, they wanted to spend more time with Him believing He could be the promised Messiah. He invites them nearer, “Come and see”. This begins a 3 year journey for them to follow and see Jesus reveal His true nature as the Son of God.
In those 3 years, Jesus teaches with great authority and performs awesome signs and wonders. For just a few examples, we know he exorcises demons, restores limbs, cures leprosy, opens the eyes of the blind, heals the deaf and mute, stills the seas to a whisper, walks on water, multiplies loaves and fishes twice for the multitudes, raises the dead. He did these things as proof for His claim as the Messiah and to lead His people to believe in Him. Jesus labored intently for people to believe that He was the Resurrection and the life.
Fast forward to the end of His walk. Let's look at Lazarus’ death, it’s near the end Christ's time on earth. We learn in John 11:4-15 Jesus purposely delays going to Lazarus, telling his disciples 3 different ways that Lazarus would not sleep in death. He would go and wake him up that they may believe.
As he draws near to Bethany, Jesus is met by Martha who tells him, “if you had just been here, my brother wouldn’t have died”. He challenges her that whoever believes in Him will never die, asking her “do you believe this?” Then He goes no further, instead telling Martha to fetch Mary. She comes to him and says the same thing, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Jesus looks around and sees Jews who came along with her. They are all weeping. Here scripture records that Jesus is deeply moved and troubled.
If you look deeper, you see these words mean that he groaned with indignation within, a deep sigh against them, a charge of admonition against their unbelief. He didn't voice it, He contained it.
He’s about to go to the cross. His time is almost up. He loves them deeply, yet here they are still trapped in unbelief and this distresses him greatly.
John 11:35- Jesus wept.
They incorrectly think his weeping is a sign of how much he loved Lazarus. Yes He loved Lazarus deeply, but what's really going on in this account is that He was distressed by their unbelief.
And even as He wept, the blame kept coming. "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Think about Jesus having to hear their snide remarks at the point. He is about to suffer an inhumane death, to be abandoned by everyone. And still they do not believe, despite all they've witnessed of His inexplicable power.
Think on that. Consider the feelings and distress of Jesus here.
John 11:38 records that once again Jesus is deeply moved, i.e. with indignation, as he came to the tomb of Lazarus.
Consider his feelings again as He is deeply moved a 2nd time. Do you wonder if he was perhaps having flashes of his own impending death coming into his thoughts as He sees Lazarus' tomb?
He tells them to roll the stone away. Martha argues against it, reminding Jesus it has been 4 days since Lazarus died and there will now be a bad odor.
He challenges Martha again, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
As they take away the stone Jesus prays, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
He calls Lazarus out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
The dead man comes out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
Can you see this scene in your mind's eye? Can you see Mary and Martha, the unbelieving crowd, the mourners watching Lazarus walk out of the tomb wrapped in grave clothes? Can you imagine their amazement as they unwrap him? As he takes his first breath of fresh air? The amazement? The rejoicing? The wonder? The laughter?
How many of them do you think felt deep conviction that their unbelief had limited their ability to see Jesus for who He was? It limited them, but it didn’t limit Jesus.
This is the mercy in this passage. Their unbelief didn’t limit what Jesus was willing to do and had planned to do all along. At this point with him, they were being tested by their Savior.
He will do the same with us. He will bring us to the brink of our belief. Consider:
He will be merciful to help you!
I pray that by faith, you pray bigger prayers for His glory to be revealed in inexplicable ways! He does not change! He is still a God of signs, miracles, and wonders!
If you want to listen to the audio version of this devotional, listen to today's Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download episode-https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/470-tranquil-tues-meditate-on-the-feelings-of-jesus/id1506101286?i=1000550460960
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Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!