November 17, 2019 at 8:48 am · naltadonna · 0 comments
This Sunday we concluded our series Through the Valley, a three-week series about how to weather the seasons of loss and grief and rely on God’s comfort and strength in the midst of the valley.
John 11 is a story about people who were in the valley. Mary and Martha had just lost their brother Lazarus, and they were suffering, in pain, and disappointed that Jesus didn’t come sooner to heal Lazarus. When Jesus arrived and saw their suffering, he was deeply disturbed and troubled. He asked where they had laid Lazarus. The townsfolk responded, “Come and see.” They invited Jesus into the place of deepest sorrow, the tomb of Lazarus. It is here that Jesus began to cry. His weeping showed the depth of his love for his friend and compassion for those who were grieving. Jesus also was weeping for himself. He knew the suffering he would soon endure on the cross. When we invite Jesus into our deepest hurts, Jesus weeps with us. Our God is close to the brokenhearted and shares with our sorrows. Jesus does not weep as one who is unfamiliar to suffering, Jesus knows what it is to suffer. He has been through the darkest valley and came out the other side. Jesus’ sacrifice makes our eternal life possible. Jesus faced great suffering, enduring it all, and came out glorified.
The invitation “Come and see” in John 11 is not the first time it appears. “Come and see” is the same invitation Jesus gave his first disciples in John 1. “Come and see” is an invitation into discipleship, into radical obedience to follow God. It is an invitation to new and abundant life. After Jesus cried with Mary and Martha, he then essentially invited them to “Come and see.” He had someone remove the stone from the tomb and called “Lazarus, come out,” and Lazarus walked out of the tomb. Mary and Martha journeyed through the valley of the shadow of death to see a new day dawning, thanks to the resurrecting power of Jesus. While we will likely not see a physical resurrection of a lost loved one like Mary and Martha did, new life and resurrection can spring forth in Christ as we journey through the valley. The valley is not permanent, and death does not have the final word in Christ. In time, Jesus leads us through the valley to a new day dawning. Jesus’ invitation to “Come and see” is an invitation to healing, to hope, and to new life. It is an invitation to believe that Jesus is indeed the resurrection and the life.
- Monday- John 11:1-16
- Tuesday- John 11:17-27
- Wednesday- John 11:28-37
- Thursday- John 11:38-46
- Friday- John 1:35-42
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
- What is the significance of Jesus weeping to you?
- Think back to the valleys of your own life. How did God bring you healing, hope, and/or a new beginning through that valley?