When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
The story of Lazarus is well known to all of us. Lazarus is the brother of Mary and Martha and Jesus loves this family, and they know that Jesus loves them. It is for that reason they send word to Jesus to come quickly because Lazarus is sick. They understood this sickness could end his life and they also understood that only Jesus could save him. Jesus hears of this and tells the disciples this sickness is not for death but for the glory of God so that the Son of God may be glorified through it. Yet, we all know that Lazarus does die. So how can Jesus say this is not for death?
There are two kinds of death, and while Lazarus will die an earthly death he shall never die for he has been given eternal life. This is a very difficult concept for all of us to understand because death has such a scary face to it and even those of us who belong to God have a fear of death. I don’t want to focus on the death today, what I do want to focus on is the other part of what Jesus said. That this is for the glory of God and that the Son of God may be glorified through it.
Jesus is heading towards Jerusalem and His Crucification, so what He does with Lazarus is very important. Jesus knows that Lazarus is going to die a human death and He also knows what the condition of Lazarus’s body will be when He gets there. The temperatures were very hot and it was their custom to bury the dead that same day. Four days later the body would be rotted. This is the condition that Jesus wanted Lazarus to be in and for a good reason. It is after the human death, when the body is rotted and destroyed, that it is beyond all human hope. It is then that Jesus shall summon him to rise.
What is it that you are going through right now? How hopeless does it seem? Well, let me tell you this, there is nothing, and I do mean absolutely nothing you can be going through, that God cannot change. This does not mean that God will change it, but God can change it and we have to learn to see God’s glory in all of it. I know, for what I am going through with Gary is very difficult. Every night I will lay in bed as tears fall from my eyes trying desperately to understand how God’s glory will be seen in this, and then I know, I just know that it will some day.
I don’t know what all of you are going through, but I do know that God does know and He does care. It is God who is going to bring about His glory in what you call a mess of a life. Only God can do that. Only God can call Lazarus from the grave where his body is already rotted and restore him to life. What was done was for God’s glory and for the Son of God to be glorified. He gave us life in order to glorify Him, so how can we fear that when He does? Let us pray.
Father, I do not see and I do not know, but I do understand that this is for Your glory. Thank You, Father, for using me to bring about Your glory. What an honor that is. In Jesus’ Name I pray.