Daily Thought for: 13th June
LAZARUS, COME FORTH
John 11. 17-45
Four days had passed. To His confused disciples, Jesus had explained that Lazarus’ illness was ‘for the glory of God’, v. 4. Then, after Lazarus had died, Jesus told them that he was ‘sleeping’, and His words, ‘I am glad for your sakes that I was not there’, v. 15, confusing them even more. They knew that the sisters had sent for Him, but He waited where He was.
After their arrival at Bethany, both women, each on their own, came to Him distraught. Martha, probably standing, and Mary, kneeling, both levelled the same charge. In their loss and despair they accused the Master of neglecting them; in essence, of not answering their prayers. Had He only come earlier, when they had asked Him to, they would never have had to endure the loss of their brother. How often do we feel that the Lord has not heard our prayers? We feel that we know how to pray and even how to pray believing if our requests are swiftly answered in our time frames. But this is often not how God works. Everything must happen according to His plan, His purposes and His program. It has been said that ‘God’s delays are not His denials’ and we must learn, perhaps more than anything in our prayer lives, to wait on the Lord.
The moment had arrived. The Saviour came to the tomb of Lazarus, His face wet with tears. What a sight! The Man of Sorrows was faced with the end-result of man’s sin and the death of His friend. He did what we would do - He wept. It showed His humanity, His love, His heart. And now we know that He understands when we pass through such a trial as this. He did too.
Having lifted His eyes to Heaven to thank His Father for already having heard Him, Jesus then looked to the grave. The same loud voice that would soon cry ‘It is finished’ after six hours on the cross, rent the silence of that graveyard: ‘Lazarus, come forth’. God’s glory had been revealed, for His purposes had been fulfilled. The hearts of His disciples now understood. The prayers of the sisters had been answered, in a way they had never expected. And so He will with our prayers, in His time! Remember, when He is ‘four days late’, He is still right on time!