CHRIST AT THE GRAVE.
Now, for a little while we want to look at Christ at the grave of Lazarus weeping over him. This is one of the most touching incidents in the life of the blessed Son of God. It brings out the heart and tenderness and love of the blessed Christ as no other incident that is recorded. We see Him at another time weeping over the city of Jerusalem, and as we hear Him say, Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stones them that are sent unto thee, how oft would I have gathered thee together as a hen doth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not; therefore your house is left unto you desolate. And as He behold the city He wept over it, but at the same time it seems that when He saw the broken-hearted sisters, the criticizing Jews, the doubting of the sisters of Lazarus, and knowing that they had given up all hope and that Lazarus was not a ghastly corpse in the tomb, His poor heart almost broke and he stood and wept with Mary and Martha. He said to Martha, Your brother shall rise again; and Martha said, I know that he shall rise again in the last day. She could not grasp the thought that Lazarus would rise that day.
It seems that it is much easier to have faith for the future than to have faith for the present. Martha had no trouble in believing that Lazarus would be raised at some future time, but to bring it right down to the present moment, she doubted it, and I have met with so many mothers who thought that at some future time their son would be saved and they seemed to rest in perfect ease about it. At the same time they had no faith on earth for their son at the present time, and he was just as dead and hopeless as Lazarus.
The devil comes up and helps people to have a future faith. He says, Oh well, it will all come out right in the end; go and have a good time and don’t bother yourself about it. The Lord will bring it all out just right,–but he doesn’t tell them that while they are going on and living without a burden for the lost that he has them in his hand and that they are just as hopeless as Lazarus. Just as truly as the blessed Son of God wept over Lazarus He is weeping over every sinner on earth to-day; and just as truly as Lazarus was dead and bound and in the tomb and putrified, every sinner in the land to-day is in the same condition morally; and just as truly as Lazarus was in a hopeless condition every sinner is in the same condition. The very fact that Christ wept over Lazarus shows us that He was interested in him, and if He was interested in Lazarus He is in every sinner in all this broad land of ours. If Lazarus was not a hopeless case then there is hope of every sinner in the land, for there is no man that could be more corrupt morally than Lazarus was physically. He was just as bad off as a fellow ever gets, and we will see pretty soon that there was hope of him. It is not any easier for the Master to raise a fellow from the dead that has only been dead one day than it is to raise one that has been dead four days. The same life-giving word that it takes to raise a man that has been dead one day would raise him if he had been dead ten years, and we see that when it comes to the salvation of a man’s soul that the same act of divine grace that it takes to forgive a twelve-year-old boy will save his father. One word from the Master will settle all questions. Glory to His name.