Seeds of Grace

Linda Buishas

Lazarus lay dying. His sisters knelt beside him, sobbing, longing for the only One who could heal him. They sent word to Jesus: “Lord, he whom you love is sick.” They didn’t say, “Come now!” but that’s surely what they hoped. As they awaited the only One who could save their brother, Mary and Martha watched Lazarus slip away.

They sadly awaited Jesus’ arrival, which came four days after Lazarus had been in the tomb. Seeing their deep distress, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35), the shortest and yet one of the most touching verses in the entire Bible. Imagine tears streaming down His holy face. The Amplified version tells us, “He was deeply moved in spirit (to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death) and was troubled”. Although He knew in only a few moments He would raise Lazarus from the dead, He wept. Then He asked, “Where have you laid him?” They replied, “Lord, come and see.” In those four words, they were inviting Him to the place of their great sorrow, the tomb of their dead brother.

Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” With that one act, He gave a foreshadowing of His own resurrection, His triumph over death forevermore. He has assured us that, through Him, we will never die, nor will He ever leave us. That, alone, should bring us joy, yet does it? We must go on living in this broken world. Sometimes we see things as Martha and Mary did; when Jesus seems appallingly late, or when we wonder where can He be in our suffering. But our hope lies in Him! When we find ourselves in a figurative “tomb,” a closed-in, fearful place of some unbearable anguish, we can turn to our Lord who is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18). He hears the cries of our hearts, and He meets us in the place of our great sorrow. He comforts us and brings us out of the darkness into His Light, if only we let Him.

Just as Jesus is familiar with all suffering and sad endings, He also knows the tomb is a place of resurrection, a place from which only He can bring us to the abundant life He came to give us. Without Jesus, Lazarus would have remained in the tomb. Without Jesus, hearts harden, dreams die, life becomes empty, and hopelessness has no happy ending.

As we prepare for the celebration of our Lord’s Resurrection, let us thank Him for the joy of new life and eternity with Him. As He called Lazarus, He calls each of us: “Come.” “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)