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!