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Detail of Mary Magdalene, Entombment of Christ, 1672, in Saint-Martin Church in Arc-en-Barrois (Haute-Marne, France)
Working at home today. Feeling sad. Wondering why things happen the way they do. Wondering why God has made me to have this weight of sadness that I carry around everywhere. Wondering why I make certain foolish decisions and then am upset with the outcome and consequences.

And my WordLive daily Bible email always seems to arrive just at the right time. Do read it, today’s is really good.

It’s about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, but focusing on Jesus’ response to the suffering that grieved his friends and his God. Jesus wept (side note: John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the Bible. I wonder if those two words were given their own verse number to highlight this very point about Jesus’ empathy and love and the very perfect blend of humanity and divinity in that response? I don’t know anything about how the verses were allocated though, so maybe not).

The biggest encouragement and perhaps answer to my feelings in the first paragraph come at the end of the study:

…we realise that somehow the pathway through terrible sorrow is necessary, so that God may finally be glorified by our deliverance. And Jesus weeps with us on that way, until the moment when ‘the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live’ (John 5:25)! 

Jesus’ action with Lazarus – and Lazarus’ action in response! – mirrors that promise in John 5. What a glorious hope to have! In the meantime, we cannot do better than Mary, whose customary posture, it seems, is at Jesus’ feet (v 32). See how she is described in Luke 10:39 and in John 12:3, as well as here (and possibly also in Luke 7:38). Here she brings to his feet her great sorrow, stored up and then poured out with honesty.

That’s where I should be looking for solace. And tears are okay. He understands.

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