Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after Jubilate

Posted on May 13, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. John 11:1-13 (NKJV)
11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”
4 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.”
5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”
8 The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?”
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.”
12 Then His disciples said, “Lord, if he sleeps he will get well.” 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.
Not many sorrows can compare with the sorrow of death. Even Jesus wept at the death of His friend Lazarus and at the sorrow it caused among those who loved him.
But the answer to death, in God’s good and gracious plan, is not to cancel it. Not yet. Even this sorrowful separation is woven into His grand design. Lazarus had to die from his illness so that Jesus’ glory might be made known. Lazarus’ sisters had to suffer his loss for a few days in order to gain a revelation of Christ’s power over death, prior to His own death and resurrection. No, Jesus would not prevent the death of Lazarus. Instead, He would use it to strengthen the faith of many. They had to be sorrowful for a little while, but then they would see the glory of the Lord and rejoice.
Our “little while” of sorrow over the death of our loved ones will last longer than the sorrow of Mary and Martha, until He who is the Resurrection and the Life comes in glory and speaks over the graves of mankind. But we have His assurance that even death will work together for good to those who love Him. Look to Christ, the Conqueror of death, and let the joy of the coming resurrection temper the sorrow of this temporary loss.
Prayer: Almighty God, Who showest to them that be in error the light of Thy truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness: Grant unto all them that are admitted into the fellowship of Christ’s Religion that they may eschew those things that are contrary to their profession, and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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