"Lord, he whom you love is ill." (John 11:3 NRSV)
Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary, were close personal friends of Jesus. Jesus spent time in their home. He would stop to visit with Mary, Martha and Lazarus whenever he passed through.
Jesus was teaching when word came that Lazarus was sick and would probably die: "Lord, he whom you love is ill." Certainly Jesus would come at once. Jesus had healed other people from their illnesses. Certainly he would want to heal his friend.
Instead of going at once to Lazarus, however, Jesus stayed where he was for two more days. How would you feel if you or a loved one went to the Emergency Room of the hospital and had to wait forty-eight hours for the doctor to show up and treat you?
We are given a clue, though, that something extraordinary is about to take place. When Jesus heard that Lazarus was ill he said, "This illness does not lead to death; rather it is for God's glory, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it." By the time Jesus finally made his way to the home of Martha and Mary, their brother was already dead. But Jesus brought him back to life.
Dear Jesus, bring me back to life today, as you come to live more fully in my heart. In Jesus' name, Amen.