Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke
John 11:33-38 The story of Lazarus with his life and death experience continues in today’s lesson. The grieving sisters have each expressed their disappointment in Jesus by pointing out that He could have prevented this event by His presence and His power, but He did not come in time. As Jesus contemplates these remarks, while surveying the crowd with the ladies, a crowd that is weeping and mourning with Mary and Martha, He does something quite uncharacteristic. “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). This is the shortest verse in the Bible, one of only two times Jesus weeps, and is reflective of His love and compassionate feelings for His friends and all human beings. He came because of just such events as these, the price that all humans pay because of the sin that indwells us and would ultimately destroy us for all eternity. I’m sure He wept not just because of these dear friends and their pain, but feeling the sorrow that sin brought upon the whole human race.
A little later Jesus approached Jerusalem on His journey to Calvary. Listen as Dr. Luke describes what happened. “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes” (Luke 19:41-42). He came to save. He came to deliver. He came to heal. He came to do all He said in the synagogue at the beginning of His ministry. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).
His mission was to present to the world the Savior (Himself) the Father sent to us. He became human flesh so He could overcome all sin and become the perfect sacrifice for our sins. He felt our pain, knew our weaknesses, but loved us with an undying godly love. Then He went to the cross to pay the debt for our sin (which was death). Thus we could be free and live with Him in a perfect heavenly setting where there will be no sin and no tempter, and therefore no consequences for sin. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:4).