Crossing the Divide

John 11:33–35 “When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to Him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept.”

Observation: Jesus deeply loved Lazarus. Lazarus had become ill, so his sisters, Mary and Martha, sent for Jesus to heal him. Jesus, knowing that Lazarus was going to die, remained where He was for two more days. By the time He set out for Bethany, Lazarus was indeed dead and, upon Jesus’s arrival, had been in the tomb for four days. Both sisters expressed the conviction that if Jesus had come earlier, Lazarus would not have died.

Application: The verse, “Jesus wept” reveals the depth of Jesus’s compassion for those who grieve over loss. But since the death of my wife after a long, debilitating illness, this verse presents an additional dimension of compelling love. 

Jesus knew heaven well, and He knew His dear friend Lazarus was there enjoying unimaginable aspects of being in that beautiful place. Jesus knew well what He was about to call Lazarus from, and He wept. I am convinced this is the meaning of the previous sentence, which says Jesus was troubled. His tears were surely not due to sadness over Lazarus’s death, because He could easily have prevented it. But His profound empathy as He contemplated calling Lazarus away from the divine presence of the Father filled Him with overflowing emotion. Lazarus, crossing the divide this time, would be going in the wrong direction.

I long to be in that place of no more sorrow, no more pain and suffering. The reward for the Christian is the promise of eternity spent in the presence of the Holy One, reveling forever in unending beauty reflected from the countenance of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Lord, I long to be in Your presence for eternity. My heart aches to be with You, immersed in the glory of Your beauty realm. Eternal life with You began the moment I accepted You as Lord and Savior, yet for a while longer You apparently believe it best that I remain here. Do what You will in me to prepare me to stand in Your glorious presence.

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