Jesus had this uncanny way of messing up funerals! Can you imagine this scene? This guy Lazerus had been dead four days. Now Jesus shows up, and it seems that His timing seems completely off.
You see, Lazerus, Mary, and Martha were a family that Jesus loved. Word comes to Jesus that Lazerus was sick. Now, we already know that Jesus can heal Lazerus. When I first read this story, I sort of expected Jesus to make a bee line for Bethany so He could heal the man. But Jesus stayed put. On the other hand, Jesus has already demonstrated that He can heal from any location. Jesus didn’t have to show up to heal Lazerus. All He had to do is say the word, and Lazerus would be healed. But Jesus doesn’t even speak healing. The Son of God with the power to heal Lazerus let him die. Then Jesus waits four days to go see the family. He doesn’t even make it to the burial. Some friend! If one of my best friends died, I hope I would make it to the funeral on time. And if I could do something to save a friends life, I sure hope I would take the steps necessary.
But this is just the point. Jesus is the most unpredictable, incredible person who ever walked the face of the planet. Can you feel the frustration of Mary and Martha when Jesus finally arrived? Can you understand when they wonder why Jesus didn’t show up soon enough to heal their brother? Mary and Martha had seen Jesus heal all sorts of people, but now when it was someone Jesus was supposed to be friends with, Jesus did nothing. Can you imagine the perplexed looks on the disciples faces when they realize that Jesus stayed put for four days, when he could have left right away for Bethany? At least Jesus could have been there to comfort and console Lazerus’ family and friends. That is what they really needed, right? Jesus did the opposite of everything that everyone expected Him to do. But He had a bigger plan.
Jesus had an uncanny way of messing up funerals! We may think His timing was off, but when you get to the end of this story, you realize His timing was perfect. The one who is “the resurrection and the life” tells them to open Lazerus grave. “Lazerus, get on outta there!” (OK, so this is a paraphrase, but you get the idea). The next thing you know, there is a dead man walking. While being late to a funeral may be a bad thing, nothing messes up a funeral quite like the corpse coming back to life. It just changes the whole attitude of the thing. Instead of somber grieving and crying, well, you get the point.
So why? Why did Jesus wait? What’s the big deal about four days? Simple, Jesus was demonstrating God’s glory through Lazerus. We are all dead in our sin, and just like Lazerus, we have no hope of getting out of the grave. But Jesus called us out and gave us life. If you are a Christian, Lazerus is a picture of what Jesus did for you. Your life was once a funeral, but now it is a celebration of the power and glory of Jesus. Aren’t you glad that Jesus messes up funerals?!