When we lost our pregnancy in December, the Lord kept bringing the story of Lazarus to me. I blogged about it here, but basically the entire chapter of John 11 made me mad.
In an effort to be completely transparent, I'll be blunt. I was pissed.
This idea of Jesus allowing Lazarus - his friend! - to die, watching Lazarus' sisters mourn because of Jesus' lack of action....and then Jesus cried about it all. The gaul! HE allowed it all to happen and now He's crying about it. The first few times I read John 11 in the misery of my loss, I just could not understand how Jesus could behave like this. I couldn't come to terms with it all.
And then Jesus began to highlight a specific verse in that chapter that I continue to cling to...
When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." (John 11:4)
There was a PURPOSE in Lazarus' pain, in Mary's pain, in Martha's pain....in Jesus' pain. It was to glorify our heavenly Father above. But there was more to the story of Lazarus that I missed because in my study of Lazarus those couple of months, I never read past John 11. Shame on me!
In my quiet times recently, I've been reading through the book of John starting from chapter 1. The other day as I read chapter 12 I was amazed by what the Lord showed me. In chapter 11, Jesus allowed Lazarus to die "that the Son of God may be glorified through" his death and subsequent resurrection. But I didn't realize how vital Lazarus' story was to the story and glorification of Christ in preparation for His death. As Jesus continued His ministry into the Passover - that would ultimately lead to his crucifixion - Lazarus' name kept coming up in scripture.
John chapter 12 begins with a dinner in Bethany, Lazarus' home town. They had a dinner for Jesus that night that included many of the people from the village, honoring Jesus and Lazarus.
In verse 9, the Bible tells us that there were a bunch of Jews that came that night, but not just to see Jesus. They came to see Lazarus because they had heard of his story.
In verse 10, the Pharisees plotted to kill Lazarus because of his testimony of Christ. As a result of his testimony many were coming to faith in Jesus.
In verse 17, on what we now call Palm Sunday, when Jesus was triumphantly entering Jerusalem before his crucifixion, the people who witnessed Lazarus being raised from the dead-who knew of his story personally-bore witness to Jesus.
In verse 18 the Bible says that people came to welcome Jesus as he entered in Jerusalem because they had heard about Lazarus' story. For many, it was because of Lazarus that people met and came to know Jesus.
The pain that Lazarus and Mary and Martha endured was used to glorify Jesus past what they could have possibly imagined. Because of Lazarus' death and resurrection, because of their suffering, many came to know Christ.
Lord, I pray that you would bring life to my womb. I pray for the same resurrecting power over my womb as You poured over Lazarus' lifeless body. Use my pain and suffering to bring You glory and to bring others to know you as their Lord and Savior. Let my life be a testament to your love and grace and mercy and goodness.
...that the Son of God may be glorified through it.
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