I was engrossed in a book when a friend bent over to see what I was reading. Almost immediately, she recoiled and looked at me aghast. “What a gloomy title!” she said. I was reading “The Glass Coffin” in Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and the word coffin disturbed her. Most of us don’t like to be reminded of our mortality. But the reality is that out of 1,000 people, 1,000 people will die.
Death always elicits a deep emotional response. It was at the funeral of one of His dear friends that Jesus displayed strong emotions. When He saw Mary, whose brother had recently died, “he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (John 11:33). Another translation says, “a deep anger welled up within him” (nlt).
Jesus was troubled—even angry—but at what? Possibly, He was indignant at sin and its consequences. God didn’t make a world filled with sickness, suffering, and death. But sin entered the world and marred God’s beautiful plan.
The Lord comes alongside us in our grief, weeping with us in our sorrow (v. 35). But more than that, Christ defeated sin and death by dying in our place and rising from the dead (1 Cor. 15:56-57).
Jesus promises, “The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25). As believers we enjoy fellowship with our Savior now, and we look forward to an eternity with Him where there will be no more tears, pain, sickness, or death.
Christ’s empty tomb guarantees our victory over death.
Bethany, which is less than two miles from Jerusalem, was the home of Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus (John 11:1). Because Jesus had a very close relationship with this family (v. 3), it is likely that He would stay in their home whenever He came into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:17; Luke 10:38; John 12:1). It is possible Jesus stayed often at their home after His resurrection, for Jesus’s ascension took place “in the vicinity of Bethany” (Luke 24:50). Sim Kay Tee