Home was heaven, but Jesus let go and came to a world of sin and hurt, suffering and injustice, and most of all, death. His friend Lazarus lay dead and the sisters suffered and the crowds cried. “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” wailed the songwriter (Psalm 137:4), and Jesus, in a foreign world, wept, too. Nevertheless, when Martha asked of her brother’s death, Jesus had the answer, “Your brother will rise again. I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live. Do you believe this?” (John 11:23, 25-26). Jesus, having come from heaven, knew the way home. Death could never end an eternity in God’s glory, and because they believed, it would not be the end now. Jesus would show them the glory of God, though Lazarus lay dead four days, and in the words of King James, “he stinketh” (John 11:39 KJV). “Lazarus, come out!” he called in a loud voice. “Take off the grave clothes and let’s go.”
This world ends always in grave clothes, but the realm of God is eternal. What comes from above is infinitely of more value, which makes the fool of one who “loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God” (John 12:43).
Father, it is good to sing praises of hope, because Your Son has rescued us. You have not left us in despair, in sin, in death, but You have given us the certainty of heaven, of home, of eternity in Your presence. Therefore, we sing with joy.
Your Kingdom has come. We live in a land foreign to our heavenly citizenship. May we serve the King of kings, so that the world may see what a wonder You are, share our hope, and sing. My God, I want to hear from You, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I so desire those words to sum up my life. That I would live in a manner that delights You, that brings You both pleasure and glory.