Have you ever been reading a book and thought, “what just happened” because you were 24 pages in and had no idea what just took place? Suddenly some dude that was paralyzed (last you read) is healed and everyone is pissed off and you realize you missed something important.
So this happened to me a few days ago, only I’ve “missed it” for 33 years. I know it’s 33 years because I remember what grade I was in when I learned the shortest verse in the Bible.
Yeh, so everyone knows that right? No big surprise. So anyway, I was looking at that passage recently and for the first time saw the contrast in the crowd. So here’s this dead guy, Lazarus, right? Jesus loves him, and he even knows he’s not going to be dead for long (he won’t even say he’s dead, just “asleep”), so there’s no reason to be upset. But the women are weeping over their dead brother, and so…
So here’s the thing. The crowd? They’re split. Some are looking at the weeping Lord and they say, “look how much he loved him”.
Wow. They see him.
The others? “If he had only gotten here sooner, he wouldn’t have died!”
I don’t really have a whole lot more to say about this other than:
It’s okay you guys. It’s gonna happen. It happened to Jesus and it’ll happen to you, and maybe sometimes you’ll even be one of the ones who blame. It happens, and it happens within the same crowd.
Pass out grace like water at a marathon, because at some point, you’ll need some, and if you find yourself in a crowd, questioning how you should respond: Look at Jesus for how he demonstrated the heart of God in pretty much any situation, and do lots of that.
Weep with those who weep. Mourn with those who mourn. Choose to love instead of blame. Even when the rest of the crowd says, “if he had only…”