Jesus says something rather remarkable in our reading today. Jesus has been close with three siblings from the Jerusalem suburb of Bethany. Lazarus, the brother and possible bread winner of this family has taken ill. Jesus is a considerable distance away from Bethany, but certainly close enough to come to the aid of Lazarus. However, when the news of his illness reaches Jesus ears, Jesus stays back and says … “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” (John 11:4 NLT) At first glance that statement does not seem all that remarkable but let’s break it down.
Jesus has insight into what will happen to Lazarus. Jesus knows that Lazarus is going to die. He also knows that He will bring Lazarus back to life. If you happened to be someone who was reading this for the first time you may not have picked up on that bit of information. But as someone who knows the story, who has read it multiple times, we are able to see the foreshadowing Jesus is giving. None of that is the amazing part.
What amazes me is the reason for death. Jesus is going to let Lazarus die, even though He has the ability to heal him remotely. Why? So that glory will come to Jesus and God through the resurrection. And that is exactly what happens. Many people believe and they could not keep quiet. God and Jesus were both being glorified for this event. But the glory does not stop here.
It is through this event that eventual glory will take place in Jesus own death and resurrection. Look at verse fifty-three again … “So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death.” (John 11:53 NLT) Had Jesus not returned like His disciples advised Him to, then maybe something else would have been the catalyst for the crucifixion. But Jesus foreshadowed in a powerful way. Not only do we have the glory of the here and now event, but we have the glory of the cross from this one event. I find that remarkable.
So … on a side note, maybe the events in your life; the ups and downs, the joys and pains, the tears and laughter, are part of God orchestrating and event to bring Himself glory. Approaching situations with that mindset might help you through the trying times.
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