If you are not familiar with the story of Lazarus or have forgotten it, I encourage you to take a few moments and read it before continuing. Luke 10:38-41 and John 11:1-44
Lazarus was dead. They buried him four days ago. Jesus never came. They were all gathered mourning Lazarus’ death when they heard that Jesus had come. Martha went out to Jesus and shared her disappointment with him, but Mary did not. Why didn’t Mary come and meet Jesus when he arrived? Remember this is the Mary that stood by his feet while Martha did all the work. This is the Mary that would later anoint Jesus’ feet with perfume and use her hair to wash his feet. What could keep her from the person whom she loved with all of her heart, soul and mind? What could keep her away?
What or who is your “Lazarus”?
· The hope of marriage
· A broken marriage
· Prodigal children
· No children
· Your finances
· Broken relationships
· Broken or unfulfilled dreams
· Service Ministry
Before Jesus called out to Lazarus and raised him from the dead, he called Mary. He did not go to her. Instead, she had to come to him in her brokenness, disappointment, pain and maybe even anger and resentment. Maybe even doubt. After all he didn’t answer her and Martha when they sent for him before Lazarus died. Jesus “ignored” their plea, their cry for help. Jesus received the message that Lazarus was dying and he did nothing. He stayed where He was and didn’t even send them word saying that He would come. He didn’t tell them to trust in him because He was in control of the situation. He didn’t tell them I am planning something amazing for your good through and after this great ordeal - just believe in me. He remained silent, yet Jesus loved them.
Do you feel like Mary? Are you calling Jesus, crying to him or pleading with him for your dying Lazarus, only to hear silence? Only to see your “Lazarus” die?
Do you feel like your “Lazarus” is dead and Jesus never came. Do you hear He is near but like Mary you do not go out to meet him? You stay in your grief, wallowing in your pain. You don’t want or have the strength to believe. “What for? I’ve put my hope and trust in him only to be let down.” you think or say.
Jesus called for Mary and he is calling you. Do you hear him calling? Are you going to get up and meet him? It doesn’t matter that you feel abandoned, disappointed, betrayed, let down. It doesn’t matter if you are angry, hurt, resentful and in pain. It doesn’t matter if you doubt his ability, faithfulness, love, mercy or promises. Scripture doesn’t say that He spoke to Mary, only that he called her. It doesn’t say that he comforted or consoled or revealed to her what he would do. It just says that he called her and she came. Jesus then prayed and called out to Lazarus. You know the story – He raised him from the dead!!!
Jesus had to let Lazarus die in order to show that He was the Resurrection and The Life. Without death there would not have been a miracle! Sometimes the miracle does not come in God intervening and fixing our situations. Sometimes the miracle is Resurrection instead of healing. But remember that resurrection ultimately brought healing and so much more!
Jesus is calling. He is near. His word says that He is close to the brokenhearted. Can you hear him? Will you hear him? He may not answer you or even minister to you the way you thought he would. Your Lazarus is dead and buried but He is asking you to come. What will you hear when you come? What will you see when you respond? What will He raise from the dead in your life for his glory and honor?