Monday, October 13, 2014

Oh Death where is thy sting?

Jesus wept  John 11:35

This is the shortest verse in the Bible, but to me it is one of the MOST powerful. It's the only record of Jesus weeping, though I imagine He wept quite often. Jesus had just approached a crowd of mourners who were mourning the death of a friend of His, Lazarus. Both of Lazarus's sisters, Mary and Martha, had come to Jesus asking Him why He hadn't come and healed their brother. They'd sent a messenger to Jesus days before informing Him that Lazarus was ill and begging Him to come and heal him. By this time, Mary and Martha, who were also good friends of Jesus, had seen Him heal multiple people... most of the strangers. Surely Jesus wouldn't hesitate to come heal someone who was a good friend.

But He did hesitate. On purpose. He waited days before heading out. Even His disciples questioned why he was waiting so long. You see, Jesus knew that Lazarus must die. He knew God had bigger plans for Lazarus that could only be achieved by his death. I realize how weird that sounds, but it's true.  Jesus knew He would raise Lazarus from the dead as proof that Jesus was the resurrection and the life!  He even told his skeptical disciples what He was going to do, and still they didn't believe.

So when Jesus arrives and sees everyone crying and wailing in grief, why does He cry???  He knows Lazarus is going to rise again in just a few minutes... so why is He crying?  There's a few passages that give us a clue.

Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.  verse 33

Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. verse 38

Jesus, the Son of God, the Creator of all life, looks over the crowd and sees what death does to people. He sees how it destroys them, how agonizing and horrific it is, how it rips out people's hearts and souls and leave them empty.  And HE GETS MAD.

He's mad at death and the devil and sin for bringing it into the world.  This wasn't how things were supposed to be. God never meant for man to die, either physically or spiritually, but the enemy tricked Adam and Eve and stole  the rulership of earth that was rightfully theirs.  And with it he brought sin and decay and destruction and sorrow and pain and heartache and loneliness and emptiness and despair and aging and finally death.

And seeing the effect of that, I believe, made Jesus groan in His Spirit and get mad. And like the warrior King, he charges the tomb and calls out Lazarus. He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth!

And Death (at least this one death) is defeated. 

Two things I learn from this

Jesus is our warrior King who charges the gates of Hell and snatches us out of the grip of death
O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?  1 Corinthians 15:55

When trials, troubles or tragedy strikes, even when God sees that things work out for us in the end, He still cries with us. He takes us in His arms and cries with us.  How comforting is that?



  1. Another great post, MaryLu....I will, of course, be sharing it. Hugs!

  2. Thank you so much for this great post. With all my husband and I are going through now I needed this reminder. I love how Jesus was moved with compassion for his friends.

    This reminded me of one of my favorite verses; "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." Zephaniah 3:17 This verse always reminds me of climbing up in my Daddy's lap as a child and having him sing to me "You Are My Sunshine." What a wonderful thought it is that GOD loves us so much He sings over us! :-)

  3. Great post MaryLu....
    Blessings, Tina

  4. Oh, MaryLu - thank you for this sweet post and reminder of just how much He loves us!!

    What a touching visualization: Jesus weeping for me, comforting - indeed!! Tears in MY eyes as I visualize this!! How can we do less than our best in serving Him when He loves us so and gave His life for us??

    Prayers, love, and hugs to you - dear MaryLu!!

    Shared post!!

  5. Tues 14th,
    "Morning, ladies". Only replying now as yesterday was our Canadian Thanksgiving Holiday.
    Excellent post MaryLu, as always. What a Saviour we serve -- to know that He grieves along with us. His compassion and genuine love are more than amazing, and yes, an awesome comfort. We are SO very blessed !!!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Take care, and, God Bless, In Him, Brenda

  6. Thanks Ladies!! It is astounding to think that the Creator of the Universe weeps with us when we are distraught.. that He is always with us... and even gets angry at death and the evil that comes against us! He is our Warrior King, our Loving Father.. He is Everything. Hugs to you all!