I have this picture stuck in my head. Jesus, who was present at creation – who had seen the world as it should be – now has spent 30-plus years surveying the brokenness. Like a tropical island after a category 5 hurricane, Jesus walks through the debris.
On the side of the road is a paralytic. In the city is a leper. In the synagogue is a man possessed by a demon. In another is a man with a withered hand. At a well is a woman who is broken and scarred by relationships. The list goes on.
Everywhere Jesus looks, there is carnage. This is not how it is meant to be.
And now Jesus’ friend has died.
It’s the ultimate result of brokenness. There is finality in death. Jesus shows up, and He hears Martha say, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Then Mary meets Him. “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
They weep. And so does Jesus. He weeps as only one can who has seen with clarity the world as it should be, and as it now is.
And then Jesus goes to the grave. He is 30-plus years into His survey of the brokenness, and Jesus has had enough. Jesus doesn’t speak; He yells. He doesn’t ask; Jesus commands. “Lazarus, come out!”
Lazarus rises to life. Staggers out of the tomb, dragging his linen-grave clothes, and walks into the Light of life.
This world is not how it is meant to be.
And only Jesus can fix it. It’s not the last time Jesus cries out with a loud voice. The next time is on the cross. And the next time will be when Jesus returns to call the dead from their graves on the Last Day. It’s not the last time Jesus goes to the grave. The next time is when they lay His body in the tomb. And it’s not the last time a dead man walks out from a tomb into the light of life. The next time, it’s Jesus – the firstborn among the dead – who proclaims victory over sin, death, and Satan.
Jesus surveys the scene. He weeps. He comforts. And then Jesus acts to reverse all those things that seemed irreversible.
Only the One who had seen things as they should be has the power to restore things to how they ought to be.
What’s the plan?
“I am the resurrection and the life.”