“Lazarus, come out!” This is the resounding call I hear coming from John 11:1-44.
Jesus hears of his friend’s approaching death and yet he waits two more days to make the journey to Judea. Jesus says, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it” (John 9:4b).
Jesus encounters Lazarus’s sisters who, through their tears of grief tell him, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 9:21b and 32b). But Jesus responds, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever live and believes in me will never die” (John 9:25-26).
Jesus arrives at the tomb, and though overcome by his own grief and sadness, speaks the words, “Lazarus, come out!”
Theologian and pastor, R. Kent Hughes reflects, “[God] wants us to pour our hearts out to him. He cares so much that he enters into our sorrows. He is not an impassable, stoic God. Rather, he feels our pain and weeps along with our weeping. He understands us better than we understand ourselves. He brings joy and resurrection life into our afflictions Believing him, we find peace and joy in the delays” (John: That you May Believe, 292).
I will be the first to admit, that sometimes I am frustrated by the mysterious working of our God, I am angry and discouraged by a world wrecked with violence. However, I also want to say, I take great comfort in our God, the creator of this universe, who will, “wipe away every tear from our eyes”, who will make, “death will be no more, neither mourning, or crying, or pain anymore, for the former things will have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). We do not need to look far to realize that our God is committed to life, to healing, and to restoration. While it is healthy to have a realistic perspective in this life; we can also claim hope, life, and the resurrection power of Jesus!