I love John 11. The paradox of God in the flesh here is beautiful to me. I have to remind myself that Jesus ate, smiled, had a heart beat, made friends and looked like the guy that does my smog check, or like one of the guys at my church. He didn't glow.
In Jn 11, Jesus's very good friends had very tangible troubles (their brother was sick- and died), and relating to my previous post, I perceive they also had the non-tangible troubles (disappointment in their friend, pained hearts, unfulfilled expectations). While Lazarus was still alive, they send an appeal to their dear Friend, confident that he can solve their problem.
When Jesus received their message, my Bible says,"Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus... therefore... he abode two days still in the same place where he was." (5,6) When Jesus decided it was time to go to his friends' home, he tells his disciples, "plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent that you may believe."
The regular humans only saw an "inside-the-box" problem. The box is only what we can see. The box lid is the sky, the bottom is under our feet. Our eternal life is beyond the box, and you can only go there by faith. Jesus's focus is on the eternal, not the temporal.
Jesus goes to the funeral 4 days after the death. He appears to be late. It appears that He didn't attach even customary importance to His friends' devastating event. (I hate with agony when my good intentions are misunderstood for evil.) They sent for Him and waited every moment for His arrival, I'm sure. After all the shared meals, conversations and friendship- He came, but too late.
When Martha hears of His arrival, she runs to Him and meets Him on the road. "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." Jesus sends for Mary, and waits for her there, presumably to speak to her alone. She hastes to Him, and falls at His feet. "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." Jesus goes to the grave and weeps. The bystanders rightly recognize Jesus's love for his friend and say,"Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?" All these people thought that preventing Lazarus's physical death was the most important thing that could have happened.
When we can only see inside the box, that appears to be paramount. The grief monster had swallowed Jesus's friends alive. In the midst of swirling grief and mourning, misunderstanding and broken hearts, Jesus groans twice. Groaning seems to relate to carrying a heavy burden or a heavy heart. He doesn't groan anywhere else in the gospels. He weeps before the grave.
Jesus allows the hard things in order that the important things may be accomplished. Jesus loved that little family. He loved His disciples. He loved them enough to wait for the grim reaper to take his toll in order that they might believe and glorify God.
"I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent that you may believe." (15)
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?"(25,26)
"Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God" (40)
"Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. (41,42)
"Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. " (45)
He did do a miracle for his friends. It was an unimaginable miracle. If you have stood by a dead loved one, you'll know this is true. Jesus always arrives on time. But he was there for a more important purpose than to heal the sick or raise the dead. Physical death just appears inside "the box". His more important agenda was that they might believe. Death isn't the worst thing that can happen.
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
Do you believe this?"