Lord, If You Had Been Here…

Read John 11:28-37. Lazarus has died in Bethany, and Jesus has just arrived there. He has already met Martha and now meets Mary.

We see in these verses how Mary directly charges Jesus with the kind of concern with which we dealt in the previous meditation. "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." Strangely enough, Mary says this seemingly without anger or bitterness but with reverence and weeping and calling him Lord. Just what is going on here? Jesus knew how this story would end, but what did Mary know or think?

We know that this story turns out well, but what are we to make of Jesus' initial response to Mary's charge? Jesus does not give some consoling platitudes. Jesus does not just restore Lazarus to life right away. Instead, Jesus goes to the place of death, and being deeply moved and troubled, he weeps. What kind of Lord do we have who weeps? In verses 36 and 37, we see that Jesus' response could be interpreted either as great love or as hollow sentiment devoid of power. How do we experience God in our situation? Is God powerless? Or does God really love us?

Read the whole Lazarus story now, John 11:1-44. As this story is presented, it is clear that there is some plan and purpose behind it all. Jesus is indeed seen as the Lord of power and resurrection and life. Even more importantly, we see that Jesus does truly love us and sorrows over our suffering.

All this becomes clear as we look back over Lazarus' story, but we do not have such a vantage point for viewing our own story. Then again, this story just might have something to say about our story. How does your story read? How will your story end?

prayhand.gif (3035 bytes)

Lord, Mary and Martha wondered why you were not there to keep their brother from dying. We too wonder at times. You showed your love and power then. In this time of ours, let us know anew your love for us. Though your power seems so far away now, dear Savior, give us the strength and hope of your power of life and resurrection. Be with us, Lord. Amen.

Introduction Beginnings and Endings Why me, God? Lord, if you had been here...
Past, Present, and Future The Warfare Is Ended The Cross Now and for Evermore

1998 Mark Vitalis Hoffman - CrossMarks Christian Resources - www.CrossMarks.com