“When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at His feet and said, ‘Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.’ 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.” John 11:32-33 New Living Translation
Some are uncomfortable with the thought of Jesus being touched by the emotions we experience everyday, those pesky feelings which often are more trouble than they are worth! You know what I’m sayin’! Who hasn’t dealt with the angst of love, the moment when the heart skips a beat, or how about this eternal arrow in the heart: “You’re a really nice guy/girl, but…”
There are times when we would just as soon skip the pain. We think, “God, if only You had…” Of course, the other side of that coin is the moment when time stands still as you look into the eyes of the one you know you are going to be with through eternity. Maybe emotions and feelings aren’t so bad after all, they do have their place, as Jesus revealed in His life.
Jesus knew every human emotion because he was human. He knew anger, frustration, pain, rejection, loneliness, and the need for love with “skin and bones” as in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus also knew the emotions and feelings of every person who came into His presence. He knew the If Only thoughts from His own heart. The mind boggling reality about Jesus is that He is fully man and fully God, carrying the dimensions of both realities in Himself. This makes what He suffered here even more powerful and amazing, to express it in the vernacular of my teen years, mind blowing!
We have read, heard, and seen interpretations of the last week of Jesus life, the Last Supper, the travesty of the trials before the Sanhedrin, the farce in the court of Herod, and the circus of a trial before Pilate. The horror of the scourging, the ridicule, the mocking words flung in His face from the same crowed that just days before wanted to crown Him as King. Now the Church Administration gathered at the foot of Jesus cross yelling insults, demanding He save Himself, crowing with delight to see the latest messiah pretender, and their thorn-in-the-flesh defeated at last.
Do we ever consider the suffering Jesus experienced as He was growing up? As each day dawned new, so each day was another revelation of how His creation was being assaulted, life destroyed. Those who most needed the comfort of the church were cast out, tossed aside like yesterday’s trash. How many times did Jesus think, “If only…” as He saw the High Priest and all who served as priests daily destroy the truth about God; the worship that was to point Israel to Jesus, point Israel to the Lamb, had become a sham, another church tradition turned-business-for-profit. And each moment, nano-second of every day Jesus had to live with and in what He recognized as the true blasphemy against His Father, surrounded by that which would be destroyed if His true reality was revealed.
Is it any wonder when He arrived at Lazarus’ home, and being met with accusations, recriminations, and “Lord, if only…” He chafed, felt anger? Everyone there completely forgot Who He was, what He could do, and had not the slightest inkling of what He would do out of His love for them. Does this picture look at all familiar? It is all to familiar to me. Far too often I fall into the same negative quicksand that draws one down into feelings of finality. There I am, trapped and unable to see or comprehend any positive outcome to circumstances which appear absolutely final! I hear my own, “Lord, if only…,” reverberate through the cosmos.
We claim to believe nothing is impossible for God. We often encourage other people with those words. Of course, nothing is impossible for God excepting what we are currently experiencing! It is a very human reaction, unfortunately one that offers very little hope, comfort, or sense of peace. It is also a reaction which denies the promise made by Jesus claiming He will give us His peace, rest, and carry the weight we struggle under.
Why do we question how involved God is, or becomes, in our Salvation process? Lord, if only You had/would do it this way… Jesus was born as one of us; He lived life experiencing what we face each day.
However, every day Jesus experienced a pain piercing His heart that we will never know. Every morning He knew what could have been so much better, so much more, and every mid-day He knew the abuse being perpetrated under the lies of a clergy distorting the Truth of God.
Think about this! Why would Jesus, knowing as only He can know the terror of life in this world, not continue to do all in His power to save us from us? He wants to deliver you and me from the horrors of sin infected lives causing us pain only He can relieve. Every moment of every day He fights for you and me.
He has invested His all, His passion, His intimacy, and His willingness to endure pain we never have to know!
I feel at such a loss as I try to put into some form words to express how much more Jesus has really done, how much more He invested in us, how much more He continues to invest in us. Jesus is motivated to do all He is able to bring you Home to live with Him for evermore, our every if only moment answered beyond our ability to imagine.
There is a fine line that He will not cross, a line between force and choice. However, He will come as close as it takes to save us, because He wants us with Him. He has invested everything in us, and He will not let us go without a fight! So, when He sees the enemy messing with our minds, clouding our ability to see Jesus, and destroying our wonder at the power Jesus exercises in our lives, He becomes angry!
Would we have it any other way?
“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:28-30 New International Version
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