Imagine — see in your mind’s eye — Jesus at the site of the burial of one of His best friends, Lazarus. Jesus is feeling the loss, and knows the pain of Lazarus’ sisters, Martha and Mary. Fully human, Jesus’ emotions are torn. He’s waited several days since hearing of Lazarus’ death before coming to the grave. Now He stands beside Mary. She’s crying. The Jews who are there with her to support her are also crying. Everyone is weeping; Jesus also weeps with them.
Jesus allows Himself the human luxury of sadness, of grief. Yes, luxury. If you’ve ever needed to cry and found yourself unable to do so, you know what I mean by the ‘luxury of sadness, of grief.’ Jesus cries.
Jesus is also subject to the criticism of the friends of Lazarus. Some of them want to know why Jesus did not “keep this man from dying.” (John 11:37, ESV)
Of course, Jesus does the opposite — He allows His friend to die, then raises him from the dead, calling him forth from the grave. Then, Jesus, Lazarus, Mary and Martha celebrate. Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with an expensive ointment, wiping them with her hair. And, Jesus knows the joy of fellowship and friendship.
Lord God, our father and brother, thank You for friendship. Thank You for allowing us to serve You and one another in love, love capable of knowing both suffering and joy. In Jesus’ Name, amen.