JOHN 11:33-37: “When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?” NLT
OBSERVATION: Have you ever wondered how Jesus feels about death? Have you ever considered the depth of anguish that takes place in His heart when one of His creation dies? In John’s Gospel, we get some insight into Jesus’ heart regarding death.
Jesus was a relational person. He was not simply God walking among us, teaching us, and demanding that we obey Him. He loved His family and was a dear friend to many. One such close friendship was between Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus. Jesus had spent time with them in their home and loved them very much.
When Lazarus was sick, Martha and Mary sent word to Jesus. They did not demand anything of Jesus, but they knew as such a close friend He would want to know. Jesus could have run to their aid. However, the text says that He remained where He was for a couple of days and then went to see them.
- “So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.” John 11:5-7 NLT
A close examination of the text also reveals some information that at first is a bit troubling. Jesus knew that Lazarus would die. In fact, Lazarus was probably already dead by the time the messengers brought word to Jesus. It is believed that Jesus was about a day’s journey from their home. If we add a day for the messengers to get to Jesus, two days to delay, and then a day to travel to his home. This explains why, when Jesus finally traveled to their home, Martha told Jesus that Lazarus had been dead for four days.
Why did Jesus wait an additional two days before traveling to see his dear friends? Jesus knew Lazarus was dead but He also knew that God wanted to use this situation as a public example that the Son of God had power over death. By waiting the extra two days there would be no question that Lazarus was truly dead and his being raised from the dead was a miracle that could not be disputed. Jesus went to fulfill the Father’s plan to display His glory through His Son!
- “But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” John 11:4 NLT
As Jesus came near to Martha, Mary, and Lazarus’ home, Martha came out to meet Him. She cried – “Lord, if you only would have been here my brother would still be alive.” After this, Mary came to Jesus and said the same thing. Mary had come weeping and she was followed by many mourners who were wailing in sorrow behind her. When Jesus saw this, and as He grasped the depth of their sorrow, something strange is recorded.
- “When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled.”
Where was Jesus’ compassion? Where was Jesus’ understanding? Why was He filled with such deep anger? The answer is,
JESUS HATES DEATH!
Jesus saw what death does to the living. He knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, but when He saw the gripping sorrow of Mary and those accompanying her He was filled with righteous indignation against the works of Satan, the author of sin and death! Death is antithetical to Jesus. Jesus came so that we might experience life, and life to its fullest!
- “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10 NLT
Jesus was so overcome with this righteous anger, He was so moved by the sorrow that filled the hearts of those He loved, that as He looked upon them it is recorded,
- “Then Jesus wept.” John 11:35 NLT
Jesus loves us so much that He came to conquer the power of death through His sacrificial death on the cross. He endured the full wrath of God against sin for us so that we could enter into the full blessing of life eternal with Him! Jesus hates death! Jesus expressed His righteous anger against death when He looked toward the place where they had buried Lazarus and cried,
- “…Lazarus, come out!” John 11:43 NLT
Yet, Jesus does not just hate death in its final sense. Jesus hates everything that kills and destroys the divine purposes of the Father in us. His teaching, His commands, His life, and His example were given to us so that we could experience life on every level. When people reject the words of Jesus they are embracing a culture of death. Jesus came to defeat death on every level!
- “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 NLT
- “Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free…So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:31-32, 36 NLT
The gift of eternal life is not something that takes place when we die. It is something we receive when we believe in Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord. His life is given so that we can have life as God intended. The thief, the enemy of our souls loves death. Jesus came to give us life. When we walk in the light of His truth we walk in the light of His life. Jesus paid it all so that we could live life to the fullest and experience eternal life!
JESUS HATES DEATH!
JESUS GIVES LIFE!
GIVE YOUR HEART TO JESUS – AND LIVE!
In Jesus Name!