v 38. Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb
You know this story well, I’m sure. It’s a long reading today too, so perhaps you will be more than a little surprised to read the verse I have chosen. After all, isn’t this the Gospel of Love, and isn’t Jesus the model of God’s love? How come we find ourselves face to face with an angry Jesus, and John had noted it before in verse 33 ‘When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him and he was deeply troubled.’ This anger was no quickly passing emotion; it hit Jesus hard and He was deeply troubled writes John. It is not as if the whole incident caught Jesus by surprise either, in fact we find in verse 14 ‘ So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead.‘ Forget all those woeful paintings of a pale-faced and mild-mannered Jesus, here is the God-Man angry, really angry. How come I wonder? Surely it is not the anger of self-pity at losing a good friend. Nor is it the anger of missing the opportunity of healing him – didn’t He delay the trip especially, So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. (vv 5-6) So why anger? I have a suspicion that Jesus felt that deep human emotion of death stalking the earth as the ultimate enemy of God’s wonderful creation. He felt its pain and the possibility of its ultimate triumph.
And it drove Him to the cross to defeat this terrible enemy, restoring life for all creation. Hallelujah!