The Death of Hope

Message/Application:  In John 11 I really related to the grief in Mary & Martha when they felt like Jesus had let them down. They had all the faith in the world that Jesus could and would do a miracle, but the limitations came when it came to death. Once Lazarus was dead, they felt like it was completely over, but this is where the miracle began. Even knowing the end of the story, I still find it hard to read the words when Jesus told them that he was glad he wasn’t there for their own sake. It seems like such a hard thing to say, yet we know he was filled with so much compassion that he wept with them before he raised Lazarus from the dead. Reading this entire process from the moment Jesus was alerted that Lazarus was dying, and intentionally stayed back for 2 more days and all the way through to the resurrection reminds me that Jesus isn’t behind the game, or asleep or unaware of the things in my life that feel emergent and like a permanent loss. He loves me so much that he will grieve with me through the hurt and console me through the death of my very last hope before he shows me that the miracle that he intended all along would look much differently than I had expected. I’m not saying that every situation will be revived and restored like Lazarus. In fact, this morning after I read this, I heard someone talking about being shattered and broken and believing that God would put her “back together” again. I literally saw a visual of millions of tiny pieces and I envisioned them all miraculously being picked up and put back into place like watching a rewind button reverse the damage. The only problem with this, is that if our pieces are put back to where they were, there is still the inevitable breaking once you play it forward again. The miracle of this story was not that Lazarus was brought back to his former state. The miracle was that he was dead, and all hope was gone, but Jesus restored his life.

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