April 6, 2014

5th Sunday of Lent: Jesus raises Lazarus from the Dead

And Jesus wept.  These are three powerful lines from today’s Gospel.  Why did Jesus cry?  Often, people think He cried because of the death of His friend, but how could that be?  Jesus had just told Martha that He is the Resurrection and the Life, why would He mourn the death of His friend after assuring Martha that Lazarus still lives? 

Another possible interpretation is Jesus was disappointed.  Mary, the one who had anointed his feet with oil and dried them with her hair, the one who had chosen the better part, the one who sat at His feet, adoring Him, the one who “got” it, showed a profound lack of faith.  When she came crying to Jesus, she blamed Him for her brother’s death and showed no faith or hope that Jesus would raise Lazarus.  How often do we get angry at God and cry that He did not do what we had asked him to do? 

In fact, Jesus knew exactly what He was doing.  He purposely waited three days after Lazarus had died before He went.  He knew that the Jews believed that the soul remained with the body for three days after death, so after the third day, the Jews would believe that He was truly dead with no hope of life.  Yet, Jesus came and restored Lazarus to life.  God has a plan, He always has a plan.  We never know how tragedy can be transformed into a blessing, but it always is transformed.  Everything works for good for those who love God.  No matter how dark things may seem, we must always trust Him and His plan for us as our God will never abandon us.

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