Raw Emotion – The Raising of Lazarus from the Dead

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There is little more mystifying and moving to me as the tears Jesus shed with Mary just before he raised Lazarus from the dead in John 11. Wouldn’t you think Jesus would have had more of a chuckle rather than tears? The kind of wink, wink…you are crying now but wait and see what I have up my sleeve in just a minute, kind of moment with Mary? None of that. He shed tears. Even though he had the power. Even though he had the authority. Even though he was going to take care of it all. He still sobbed. You might think the Messiah would have pushed Mary and the mourners aside, marched up to the tomb of Lazarus and ordered him to come out and put a stop to all those tears. But first he experienced and expressed emotion at its rawest. The NIV doesn’t help us very much here, which tells us Jesus was “deeply moved in spirit” (John 11:33). In Greek this has more a sense of anger than it does sentimentality. Angry at death. Angry at what his beautiful creation had become. Angry at sin. Angry at sickness. Angry at decay. Angry at all those things that mar the image of God within us. Even though he had the answer to sin, sickness and death and had the power to redeem and restore God’s image even amongst the dead, it is mind boggling and so meaningful that he wept, broken, right there with Mary and the others.

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