Reflection of the Week - 14th November 2023

By Mark Woods

Posted in Faith

John 11: Reflection

This is an extraordinarily moving story because it shows so clearly the reality of grief. A loved brother has died, and his sisters are prostrated with sadness – and they're confused and resentful, because they believe Jesus could have saved him (verse 21, 32). The words 'Jesus wept' are so striking that they're given a verse to themselves – the shortest in the Bible. It's sometimes asked why he would have wept when he knew he would raise Lazarus, but this is to miss the point: he is caught up in the same deep human emotion that affects everyone else there. This is true of sickness and death today: Christians believe in a glorious life after death, but still experience the bitterness of parting and loss. Death is 'the last enemy' (1 Corinthians 15.26).

The raising of Lazarus, though, is a sign that the last enemy will be defeated as well as all the rest. We might take it, too, as a sign of resurrection in other ways. All sorts of things die friendships, marriages, careers, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes it's right that some things die. But the raising of Lazarus tells us that God can raise the dead.

God, thank you for your resurrection power. Forgive me if I haven't trusted you as I should to work miracles in my life and help me to live in the light of your goodness and grace to me.

Woods, M 2020, Jesus wept: John 11.28–44 (Day 80), Bible Society,

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