Reading the account of Lazarus death and resurrection in John, I was struck by the grief of our Savior. The onlookers remarked about his love for Lazarus. I re-read the account and it occurred to me that because He is God – what He grieved for was probably not what we might think he grieved for. Yes – He loved Lazarus; but it seems unusual to me that our Lord who knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead would be weeping over the loss of life; so I re-read the passage several more times and then it occurred to me that the our Christ came face to face with the reality of the wages of sin and what it means for a fallen humanity. Christ was fully human – Yes! – but he was without sin! He loved these people deeply and what was happening here brought our Lord face to face with the effects that sin would have not only on the sinner, but on those whom the sinner loves. I believe that He grieved for their sinfulness. He grieved the effects of their unbelief.
In one breath they were pronouncing that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God (v 27) and in that same breath they were expressing their lack of belief and understanding in his deity – “if You had been here, my brother would not have died – Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.“. And further the Jews who came to grieve saying – “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?” – again missing the point that Jesus is both Resurrection and He is Life!
Our sin, our unbelief and what we will reap for sin and unbelief grieve Christ’s heart.
Christ was hurt when he saw the truth about what would happen to people if they didn’t believe in God and change their ways. Our hearts should be moved in the same way. Jesus was not just sad – He was annoyed! As we are exposed to those who do not believe and to those that continue in sin, our hearts should be like Christ’s heart and be moved. We need to love the world as much as Jesus loves the world. We have to avoid our tendency to “huddle up”; and, instead, get out there and be His love to the lost; the least and the last! It has to be our desire that all people know that they can be redeemed! When we witness just one person walking in sin and unbelief – it must be our desire to see the miracle of salvation and redemption take place.
We must love the world enough AND we must be bold and courageous enough to say to the lost: Come forth! Arise! Live! It’s Time To Get Up!!