On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
A Glorious Plan
Wait, did you read that correctly? Jesus was late! His friend Lazarus was sick. Jesus is the Son of God, who heals the sick. But when he heard that the friend he loved was ill, he waited around for two days. Then, when he finally went to see him, Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days!
Why did Jesus let Lazarus die? The obvious answer is that he had a plan. Yet that seems like the kind of trite cliché we share when we don’t know what else to say. You’ve probably heard it. Whenever life takes a turn for the worse, people like to say, “God has a plan.” It’s true that he does, but often we can’t see God’s plan. Can you imagine the frustration of Martha and her sister, Mary, as they waited for Jesus and watched their brother die?
Perhaps you can, because you know what it’s like to experience pain and wait for God. When life is awful, God’s plan does not always make sense. The cancer that won’t go into remission. The spouse who dies slowly. The loved ones you bury. It all makes you ask, “Jesus, I know you can help. Where are you?”
He is exactly where he needs to be. He always is. In the case of Lazarus, Jesus’ plan was to glorify God by miraculously raising Lazarus from the dead. For that to happen, Jesus had to allow Lazarus to die.
Remember Lazarus the next time you are suffering and wonder why God is allowing it. Remember that he does love you and that he does have a plan. Remember that the one who had the power to raise Lazarus from the grave has the power to raise you out of whatever you are enduring.
Lord Jesus, give me strength in my troubles and faith in your glorious plan. Amen.