A man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany...was sick. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Master, the one you love so very much is sick.”
Jesus draws back the curtain and allows us to peak in on His fulfillment of this prayer request. He tells us specifically that He waits to intervene and why He is doing it.
When Jesus got the message, He said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.” Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, but oddly, when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed on where He was for two more days.
The Message translation calls out the obvious: but oddly. Yes it is odd that Jesus loves Lazarus and his two sisters, yet Jesus stays two more days on purpose. It is a mystery. Jesus lets Lazarus die and lie in the tomb four days before He shows up. Why? How can that possibly be a good thing? How can this sickness not be fatal when Lazarus DIES? Death is fatal. Hello?
Unlike us, Jesus knows the end of the story from the beginning. When He is thinking death, He is thinking of eternal death, not the death we understand. To Jesus, our physical death is like a nap. Not that He is flip about our pain, physical or emotional, it is just that He knows the end from the beginning. He sees the whole picture. He sees what is really important.
Eternal life. That is most important. And the best way to get the most people to the state of belief that will lead to eternal life is through death. Lazarus' death causes a lot of life, because it caused a lot of faith in Jesus.
After the two days, He said to His disciples,“Let’s go back to Judea.”
They said, “Rabbi, You can’t do that. The Jews are out to kill You, and You’re going back?”
Jesus replied, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in daylight doesn’t stumble because there’s plenty of light from the sun. Walking at night, he might very well stumble because he can’t see where he’s going.”
Jesus is not concerned about His own life either. He is focused on walking in the light---doing His Father's will at the appointed time. Jesus is mysterious. His ways are not our ways. But He went first. He sacrificed more. He demonstrated what a fear-less life looked like, trusting God for His life and His death. He trusted His Father knew the end from the beginning, and that His will was for ultimate good.
Jesus is mysterious. He pulled back the curtain this one time for us to see that things are not always as they seem. He let us peek because He wants us to rest in the mystery and not to be afraid.
Jesus knows the end from the beginning. We can trust our prayers to Him because He hears the cry of our hearts and what He does is good.
Beloved, help me trust You when I cannot see the reason. You have been so faithful. Help me rest in that even when I cannot see.
“Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.”