When Jesus came, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. (John 11:17)
The question of the day for the sisters of Lazarus: where were you Jesus? He had received word about the illness, but He waited. “If you had been here, our brother would not have died. Why weren’t you here?” Weeping along the way, Jesus was led by the sisters to the tomb of their brother. There the Resurrection and the Life spoke. He shouted. Not screams of grief like the crowd, but a blast of authority. Jesus spoke life to Lazarus and Lazarus came walking out of the tomb. The one who had been dead four days, no longer dead! The impossible unveiled before the eyes of all. Jesus didn’t heal Lazarus of his illness because He had bigger things in mind. Jesus is not only the Lord of sickness and disease, but the Lord of death and life! The Lord of all!
That’s why Jesus didn’t go; but why don’t we go? When you hear that a brother or sister in Christ is sick, why is it so rare these days for people to visit? It’s at our times of weakness – like when we’re sick or on our deathbed – that we need the strength drawn from the brethren. We need each other.
Be there. Fearlessly go where others are afraid to be. Don’t allow yourself the excuse that your afraid of your own mortality. Three responses to that. First, you’re going to die. Second, death isn’t contagious. Third, your loved one needs you.
Be there. Confidently speak a simple word of condolence. Share a Word from the Lord that points to the certain promises of eternal life. Or don’t say anything at all. Don’t allow yourself the excuse that you don’t know what to say. Three responses to that. First, you don’t have to say anything. Second, pray that the Lord will give you words (can’t tell you how many times I’ve prayed that prayer!). Third, your loved one needs you.
Be there. Patiently sit with your loved one. Carve out some time. Sacrifice your time for this dear one in need. Don’t allow yourself the excuse that as much as you’d like to stop in, you just don’t have time. Three responses to that. First, you might want to consider reorganizing your schedule a bit because it’s not good for you to be that busy. Second, yes you do. Third, your loved one needs you.
Be there. Jesus went to the sick and the dying. He finds people in their weakness and grants them a dose of His own strength. We Christians are Christ’s ambassadors. We go to the sick and dying. We find people in their weakness and grant them a dose of Jesus’ strength. That’s who we are. Not to the high and mighty, but to the low and meek are we sent with a message of hope, life, and resurrection. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. He will bring life where once was death and darkness. Of this we are sure. So . . . we go!
Jesus Christ, You are the Resurrection and the Life. Send us to those who need to be strengthened by you. Hold up the sick and dying in your might. Amen.