Resurrection! Part 4: God’s Anger = God’s Mercy – John 11:33-35

God's Hand of Mercy “When Jesus saw her crying, and the Jews who had come with her crying, He was angry in His spirit and deeply moved. ‘Where have you put him?’ He asked. ‘Lord,’ they told Him, ‘come and see.’ Jesus wept” (John 11:33-35, HCSB).

This meditation is Part 4 of a four-part series from the story of the raising of Lazarus from death. When Jesus arrived in Bethany after Lazarus had died, He encountered family and friends mourning over the death of Lazarus.

Jesus exhibited a wide range of emotions as He shared in the sorrow of Lazarus’ death with family and friends.

His emotional display was not unusual by any means. Who hasn’t attended a funeral and been moved to tears by the grieving family of the deceased? Why, we even get tearful or angry by the drama of a movie we are watching or book we are reading.

But Jesus was not only moved to tears by the mourners’ anguish and distress, He was agitated and stirred to anger by their torment over Lazarus’ death. And, it seems that His righteous indignation over human suffering and death moved Him to tears.

The anger that Jesus exuded is striking and is even noted again in vs. 38; “Then Jesus, angry in Himself again, came to the tomb. And when Jesus commanded Lazarus to come out of the tomb, “He shouted with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus come out!” (vs. 43).

The grief felt by the family and friends of Lazarus made Jesus sad. The death of Lazarus made Jesus mad. And Jesus responded with great compassion by commanding death to leave when He commanded Lazarus to come out of the tomb!

God is angry with the sin and rebellion that Satan has enticed humanity to follow him in and the physical and spiritual death it has caused. In fact, God hates our sin and rebellion so much that He did something about it.

But, mighty compassion arose from God’s holy anger. And, God saved us! He redeemed us!  He sent His Son, Jesus, to die as a sacrifice for our sin and rebellion and to be resurrected as our hope for our eternal life.

Yes, God’s holy anger aroused not divine retribution but sublime mercy!

“For God did not send His Son into the world that he might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” ( John 3:17, HCSB)

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