The God who Hurts with Us

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It is a fact that if you have two pianos in the same room and a note is struck on one, the same note will gently respond on the other, though not touched by another's hand.  This is called "sympathetic resonance."
"Christ's instrument was just like ours in every way.  And hear this!  He took that instrument, that body, to Heaven with him. It is his priestly body.  And when a chord is struck in the weakness of our human instrument, it resonates in his!  There is no note of human experience that does not play on Christ's exalted human instrument. "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses."
R. Kent Hughes

1. God uses sorrow for his children’s benefit.

John 11:1–16 ESV
1 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3 So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” 4 But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. 7 Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” 8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
v 3-4 God uses hopeless situations for His glory.
v 5-6 Jesus delayed his departure from where he was serving.
God’s timing is not our timing.
God’s ways are not our ways.
v 7-16 God’s way does not always make sense to is but is always for the benefit of his Children.

2. God will raise his children from the dead.

John 11:17–27 ESV
17 Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. 18 Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother. 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
v 17 Lazarus has already died and been in the tomb for 4 days.
v 17-21 Jesus’ delay at coming to heal Lazarus led to Lazarus’ death.
v 22-27 All who trust in Jesus will live again, they will be resurrected. While it hurts when they leave us, we can rest knowing that is only for a short season of life. (eternity is far longer than any life lived here)

3. God morns with His children in their hurt.

John 11:28–36 ESV
28 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” 29 And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. 34 And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
vs 28-32 Mary’s heartbrokenness is overwhelming her and weighs heavy all others around her.
v 33 Jesus is deeply moved and troubled. In other words, Jesus is hurting and broken for his servant. He has compassion and mercy on her.
v 34-35 Jesus literally weeps at the tomb of Lazarus. Crying when sorrow overcomes us is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of great spiritual strength and understanding. When we cry with our friends who are hurting, we are demonstrating our great love for one another. Jesus demonstrates this kind of compassion and love in this moment.
Transition to illustration
Will Rogers, America's favorite cowboy-comedian of the 1930s, was adept at making others laugh.  But one day his friend Milton Berry, founder of a rehab center in Los Angeles for accident victims, saw Will Rogers weep as he ducked into a bathroom to release his pent-up sadness over the victims' disfigurements.  He sobbed like a child, then emerged from the rest room smiling and laughing as before.  He could not let the public see him weep lest his tears should spoil his humor.
Christianity, unlike Stoicism, is marked by compassion and willingness to enter into the pain of another's suffering.  JESUS was unafraid to let his own tears show over the death of his friend Lazarus (John 11:35).  Our tears are precious to God, for He numbers them just as surely as the hairs on our heads.
Psalm 56:8 ESV
8 You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?
v 36-37 the Jews doubt Jesus’ authority and power. But Jesus has a surprise for them...

4. God will heal all wounds for his children.

John 11:38–44 ESV
38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
vs 38-40 Jesus being deeply moved again… begins to make his triumphant move.
Lazarus had been dead for four days. (He smelt horrible and his body would have already began to decay.
Jesus disregards the fact so much time had passed.
He reminds Martha that if she will trust Jesus she would see the glory of God!
vv 41-42 Jesus prays allowed for everyone to hear. It is so that they will believe.
vv 43-44 WITH A LOUD VOICE Jesus commands Lazarus to come out of the tomb. He is alive, risen from the dead. In this triumphant moment, Jesus declares his future victory over death, his authority over death and life, and establishes eternal security and resurrection for all who believe in Jesus.
Ecclesiastes 3:1–8 ESV
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
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