What I read today;
Hebrews 6; John 11; Jeremiah 11; Psalm 45; 1 Samuel 28; Exodus 30
What is the hope that we have?
Do we believe that God will aid us in our daily affairs? Do we believe in a God who will reward us financially like a heavenly piggy bank? Do we believe in a God who will take vengeance against our enemies? Do we believe in a God who’s watching our every move waiting to pounce on our every mistake?
What do we really believe, and why does it matter?
Jesus comes to the grave of Lazarus. Lazarus is Mary and Martha’s brother. His death comes as a terrible blow to both his sisters. The disciples can’t figure out why they waited, and then they can’t figure out why they’re going. The Council had just tried to arrest Jesus. If Lazarus is dead, what does it matter?
The sisters’ grief is apparent for all to see. Even Jesus is brought to tears out of compassion for them.
Martha complains, “Lord if you’d been here, he’d still be alive.”
So often we hear this from people today. We listen to comments like, “Lord if you’d only been here,” “Jesus if you were real,” “A merciful God wouldn’t do this.”
Our sin-filled world continues to churn out grief. It continues to see tragedy and pain each and every day. God didn’t cause it, but he’s an easy target when things go wrong.
Mary and Martha are only saying, what many of us feel during those times of tragedy and pain. She just has a relationship with Jesus that is intimate enough to be able to say it. Does Jesus rebuke the sisters? No, he does not. Instead, he provides a phrase that gives us all hope that no matter what our lives and souls are in the hands of the most merciful being in the universe.
He says this:
John 11 vs. 25-26 – “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”” NRSV
Our hope is not in the money we make or the career we build. It is not in the family we raise up or the friends we make. Our hope is that on the last day of our life, Jesus will be there to greet us as we enter our heavenly home.