“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness…” (2 Peter 3:9, NIV)
Martha and Mary, whom we’ll meet in this Sunday’s sermon, might argue with this. When their brother, Lazarus, was sick and dying, they sent word to Jesus who was on the other side of the Jordan. Jesus waited two days before heading to their aid. In the meantime, Lazarus died.
By the time Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days.
When Martha met Jesus, she said: ““Lord,…if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21, NIV). Later, when Mary met Jesus, she said the same thing…word for word.
Both of them, it seems, had the faith to believe Jesus could keep their brother from dying…but not enough faith to believe Jesus could raise him from the dead.
And both seem very disappointed that Jesus arrived too late to do anything about it.
Do you ever feel this way? Prayer after beseeching prayer, asking God to stop this thing from happening…asking God to prevent this thing from “dying.” You don’t doubt Jesus is coming, but he sure is taking his sweet, holy time about it! And then, when Jesus finally arrives on the scene, it’s too late. That beloved thing is dead and decaying and smelling up the house.
And like a slow leak in a tire, your faith begins to deflate. The best you can tell the Lord: “Well, I know you could have stopped it if you got here earlier.”
But friend, listen to Jesus’ words: “I am the resurrection and the life.” You understand, there’s not a “too late” when there’s a resurrection. There’s not death when there’s life.
Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
I don’t know what your Lazarus situation might be: a marriage, a wayward child, health, finances, job…Jesus is able to raise the dead and bring life into any situation. That power which belonged to him 2,000 years ago he used on behalf of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus is still available to you and me today.