John 11:11–15 (ESV) — 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.”
Perspective is a powerful thing. To fish, being submerged in water at all times is not something to be feared, but embraced. For you and me, from our perspective, that idea is not so good. And one of the things which made much of what Jesus said seem so puzzling to us, is that we do not have His perspective. He sees all things through the lens of His own deity, the Father’s plan, the power to bring all He has promised to pass, His own absolute truthfulness in that He cannot lie, and His total faithfulness – that He neither will, nor CAN fail. Given that perspective, He faced all things in His incarnation much differently than all of those around Him, even His disciples.
But nowhere does this difference of perspective collide more with our fallen human one than in places like this – where to the Eternal Son of God, human death, even after 4 days in the grave, is no more difficult to overcome than waking someone up from a good night’s sleep.
And I for one need to remind myself of that when I am facing trials, questions and especially difficult circumstances. If I could only get His perspective. If I could keep in mind that He is not afraid of anything, since He has power over everything. That He is not shocked by anything, even my worst sins, because He already knows everything. That He is never fooled by anything, discouraged about anything, worried about anything or too distant from anything to be of aid.
To Him, all of my trials are well in hand and have purpose. To Him all of my weaknesses are but places to manifest His own strength. To Him, my helplessness is the theater of His all-sufficiency, and my doubts, but the canvas upon which He paints portrait after portrait of His faithfulness.
He sees the end from the beginning, because He declared the end from the beginning. He knows He has purposed to crush the enemy under the feet of His people. The rise and fall of empires are but part of the process of bringing about His final kingdom. He even sees my death only through the lens of the coming resurrection He will accomplish in due time.
Heavenly Father, if only I, we, might retain always the view of the world and our lives that is afforded us when we keep our eyes on the Cross. Be pleased to make the perspective increasingly ours until the day Jesus returns, that we might walk with you in this present age in joy, confidence and fruitfulness. Fill our vision with Christ and Him crucified.