‘Jesus Wept’, John 11:35
This verse comes in the context of Jesus Raising Lazarus from death. This is an extraordinarily moving story, because it shows so clearly the reality of grief. A loved brother has died, and his sisters are prostrate with sadness – and they're confused and resentful, because they believe Jesus could have saved him (verse 21, 32). The words 'Jesus wept' are so striking that they're given a verse to themselves – the shortest in the Bible.
It's sometimes asked why he would have wept when he knew he would raise Lazarus, but this is to miss the point: he is caught up in the same deep human emotion that affects everyone else there. This is true of sickness and death today: Christians believe in a glorious life after death, but still experience the bitterness of parting and loss. Death is 'the last enemy' (1 Corinthians 15.26).
The raising of Lazarus, though, is a sign that the last enemy will be defeated as well as all the rest. We might take it, too, as a sign of resurrection in other ways. All sorts of things die: friendships, marriages, careers, hopes and dreams. This is particularly true as we adapt to the changes that Covid 19 has brought to our lives. But sometimes it's right that some things die - the raising of Lazarus tells us that God can raise the dead.
Prayer: God, thank you for your resurrection power. Forgive me if I haven't trusted you as I should to work miracles in my life, and help me to live in the light of your goodness and grace to me. Amen.
Prayer Request: For those facing a different future as a result of the pandemic – for wisdom and strength to look to the forward with hope.