Dead Not Dead: Tears Love Death Power

“Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’ ” (John 11:35-37)

The Jewish mourners gave Jesus credit for his tears. They made the assumption that he cried for dead Lazarus because he “loved him.” But even they wondered why that love didn’t translate into using his power to heal the man.

deadnot_350Of course, God had other plans for his power, plans to make obvious to everyone paying attention that this was the Son of God, the Christ, the Messiah. God used the death of Lazarus to prove his power over death; he used the resurrection of Lazarus to prove that his love was not powerless.

If the most loving thing your compassionate Father can do for you – or for someone else – involves allowing you to experience great suffering for a short season, would you still want him to stop it? Will we insist on judging God’s love for us by the intensity of our pain today or will we judge the intensity of his love today by the power of Christ’s suffering for us on the cross?

It’s a hard question on painful days.

Think: Does your understanding of God’s love for you grow or shrink on painful days? Does his actual love for you ever grow or shrink? What is the evidence of his love for you if it is not an absence of suffering in your life?

Pray: Thank God that He has proved his love for you by the sacrifice of Jesus’ suffering and death in your place, to make you his child through your faith in Christ.

Do: Read (memorize?) Romans 5:8.