“Jesus wept … Look at how he loved him” (Jn. 11:35-36).
Lord Jesus, thank you. Your passionate, compassionate tears are one of the greatest showers that have fallen on the face of the earth. You knew within moments that your friend, Lazarus, would live again. Yet you wailed as his cold body laid motionless in the tomb.
Those ringside that day offered this commentary, “Look at how he loved him!”. No one hates death more than you—no one feels its utter contradiction and heart-rending implications more profoundly. And no one loves each of us more than you do. Oh how you loved Lazarus. Oh how you love us—not tolerate, endure, or put-up-with… but, love us.
No one will welcome the Day of “no more death and dying” more joyfully than you (Rev. 21:4). Only you could secure, not just death’s defeat, but also its extinction. Your death was the death of death itself—”the last enemy” (1Cor.15:26). This great truth and precious hope was on full display yesterday as we buried, Bill—another of your friends, and ours.
Because of your resurrection, we sing in advance of ours, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55) Death is now “working backwards,” the Gospel is running forward, and we are longing more than ever for the Day of “all things new” and everything beautiful (Eccl. 3:11). Please make it soon, Jesus.
Today we rest our often-heavy, sometimes-confused, right-now-weary hearts in your strong and loving hands. So Very Amen we pray… in your grave-robbing, life-giving, grace-multiply name.