John Day 21: The Raising of Lazarus

Lazarus by Anna Cuypers

Gospel of John Reading Plan
Day 21 Reading:
John 11:17-57

Bringing the Word to Life
Pray for all who are dying or grieving the death of a loved one that they would trust in Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life.

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
Scripture
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” – John 11:33-36 (NRSV)

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and of unspeakable love. – Washington Irving

The one who sees unceasingly the limitless goodness of God came to the world, saw it broken to pieces by human sin and was moved to compassion. The same eyes which see into the heart of God saw the suffering hearts of God’s people and wept. These eyes which burn like flames of fire penetrating God’s own interiority, also hold oceans of tears for the human sorrow of all times and all places.
– Henri Nouwen, Behold the Beauty of the Lord

I discovered later, and I’m still discovering right up to this moment, that is it only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. By this-worldliness I mean living unreservedly in life’s duties, problems, successes and failures. In so doing we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world. That, I think, is faith.- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Observation
Jesus arrives in Bethany to find many mourning the death of Lazarus, including his sisters Mary and Martha. Lazarus has been dead four days. In the midst of their grieving, the sisters express incredible faith in Jesus. Jesus is moved to tears and raises Lazarus from the dead. The chief priests and the Pharisees fear losing their power, so they plot to kill Jesus when he comes to Jerusalem for Passover.

Application
In his humanity, Jesus not only sympathizes with my situation; he takes on my weakness and pain. In his divinity, he redeems it. There is now hope, healing, and new life where there was only death.

God gave me this poem back in 2000 when I was going through an incredibly painful time in my life. Today’s scripture reminded me of it. I pray it helps you to “take off the grave clothes” as it did me.- Lisa <><

Prayer
Poem: You Understand My Pain
I am wounded… so were you
they call me names… you heard a few
I cry at night… you cried there, too
You understand my pain

You understand my pain
You know my deepest need
when life is all but tame
You clear a way for me
Forever I will claim
the One who never leaves
You understand my pain

I’m unwelcome… you know the glare
I am lonely… you can compare
My choices trap… you took their snare
You understand my pain

You understand my pain
You know my deepest need
You break this prisoner’s chains
You set the captive free
When once I was estranged
you made me family
You understand my pain

I feel beaten… your back was scored
I have no voice… you were ignored
They pierced my heart… they pierced you more
You understand my pain

You understand my pain
You know my deepest need
now nothing is the same
You help me now to see
your loss was not in vain
it rescued one like me
You understand my pain

© 11/24/2000 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.
Lisa is especially interested in collaborating with someone to set this text to original music.

***********
For a terrific post by Steve Harper entitled Praying with Tears, click here.

For more information on the Gospel of John Reading Plan, click here

For more information on the art, scripture translation and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

2 thoughts on “John Day 21: The Raising of Lazarus

  1. Pingback: Sermon Recording- Why Have Your Forsaken Me? | Turning the Word

  2. Pingback: Sermon Recording- Why Have You Forsaken Me? | Turning the Word

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