The Lord had all this time been trying to teach his friends about his father, who had sent him that men might look on his very likeness, and all they had gained by it seemed not to amount to an atom of consolation when the touch of death came. The fact that God loves them, and that God has Lazarus, seems nothing to them because they have not Lazarus! I do not mean that God would have even his closest presence make us forget or cease to desire that of our friend. God forbid! The love of God is the perfecting of every love. He is not the God of oblivion, but of eternal remembrance. He gave us to each other to belong to each other forever. But is it nothing that he who is the life should be present, assuring the well-being of the life that has vanished, and the well-being of the love that misses it? Why should the Lord have come to the world at all, if these his friends were to take no more good of him than this? All their cry was, “Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died!” You may say they did not know Christ well enough yet. That is plain—but Christ had expected of them, and was disappointed. Was this the way his best friends treated his father, who was doing everything for them possible for a father to do for his children! He cared so dearly for their hearts that he could not endure to see them weeping so that they shut out his father. His love was vexed with them that they would sit in ashes when they ought to be out in his father’s sun and wind. And all for a lie! Remember, it was not their love, but a false notion of loss. To think they should believe in death and the grave, and not in him, the Life!
by Leah Morency
Tremendous faith, in pain, sorrow and loss, in grief of loss, is in knowing the fulfillment of what is not seen, of what is promised.
She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world." - John 11:27
More than all of this, is knowing Christ is with you always, in the midst of the truly real pain and the loss.
I often hold out expectations of how my faith will be bolstered through the intervention of the Lord, the master of the universe, to stop the loss of the temporal with the coming of the eternal promise, in my suffering here and now. Our faith ties our limited vision, the avenue we feel we need the Master of the Universe must and will work in, to fashion what we hope for. The fault is in what we hope for being so much less than the Christ himself.
At Lazarus grave, perhaps they expected Christ would prevent the death if Christ truly loved them. Perhaps they doubted the love of Christ, for mingled in their suffering and their pain was the accusation that Christ is the cause of death because he would not prevent it though he could have. Rather then, he would make something entirely new, glorious, and beyond the crippled life here and now. If only we would let our flesh die without clinging to its shadowy version of life. We resist loss in this world so strongly we cannot see in the place of loss is Christ's life pouring into us.
Perhaps Christ was indignant with the small faith his beloved friends would depend on at His own death, that he should see his own little ones' faith in his eternal kingdom coming, faulter, when faced with temporal death.
The battle is with death, yes, but that is easy for the Master when placed beside the labor in the Spirit of Christ for the hearts and souls of his beloved brothers and sisters, if only they would be won to Him!! He labors to win us, pursues us.
Christ of course is indignant with those he loves because he loves, and because he longs for intimacy with us, and for our utter security and peace in Him alone; and we will not have it without a fight.