Read John 11:17-45.
Discomfort With Death Continue reading
Read John 11:1-6.
“So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.” John 11:6
The Watney House Fire
From the street it looked like a one story house. But because it was built on a hillside, from the back you could see another level below with sliding glass doors opening out to a patio and back yard. This was the house where the Watney kids lived: Melissa, Mark, and Emma. Continue reading
Why Did Lazarus Have To Die?
I’ve been reading Eric Metaxas’s Miracles again and there’s a section where he addresses the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. And Metaxas really made me think. Why did Lazarus have to die anyway? Why did Lazarus have to endure the suffering? Why was it necessary for his family to mourn? I mean, Jesus could have shown up earlier and healed him as he did for so many. But he didn’t. So Lazarus suffered–and died.
By the time Jesus got there his sisters and his friends were weeping. And in answer to anyone who would say that God is some sort of impersonal metaphysical force, Jesus, God incarnate, was overcome with grief himself. And he wept for his friend, and for his friend’s family, and for his friend’s friends. Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
Lazarus, Jesus’ friend, had been dead for four days. Four days. That’s significant because there was this idea in Jewish culture at the time, that when a person died their spirit hung around for three days. And here we find Lazarus dead beyond that time period. In fact when Jesus directed the men to remove the stone that sealed the tomb, Lazarus’s sister Martha protested.
“Hang on, he’s been dead for four days. He’s been decomposing,” she said, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench.”
But Jesus went ahead with it anyway.
He prayed out loud, not so God could hear him, but for the benefit of the people there.
And Lazarus walked out of that tomb.
And here’s where I have to ask: Why? Why was that necessary? Why did Lazarus and the people who loved him have to suffer that way? Why couldn’t Jesus have just healed him?
And the answer is found when we ask the question: Continue reading
The Love of a General
The Chaplain said, “When I was studying to lead my unit in the war, we were required to read an ancient story about a Chinese general named Wu Chi. One of Wu Chi’s soldiers was suffering from a battle wound that had abscessed. Wu Chi himself cared for the wound even sucking out the infection. The soldier’s mother, hearing this, wailed and lamented. Somebody asked her, ‘Why do you cry? Your son is only a common soldier, and yet the commander-in-chief himself has sucked the poison from his sore.’ The woman responded, ‘Many years ago Lord Wu performed a similar service for my husband, who never left him afterwards, and finally met his death at the hands of the enemy. And now that he has done the same for my son, he too will fall fighting I know not where.” (Sun Tzu, as cited in Traveler and the Chaplain)
How Jesus Loved People Continue reading