OUR GROANING GOD
John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.) 3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. 4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. 5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. 32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
John 11:33 ¶ When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, (or rather, he troubled himself.) 34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! 37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? 38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
Why did the Lord abide two days still in the same place where he was? He certainly wasn’t at leisure, just lying around! Here is a passage that will shed some light on this. Luke 13:31 The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. 32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. 33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
This clearly shows that in this particular two day period, near to the same time in his ministry, our Lord tells of his “heavenly schedule” of not getting to his death before the pre-ordained timing of the Father. He would do cures, and cast out demons by the word of his preaching, until the time before appointed for his death. And so to Lazarus’ death! For as there are “times before appointed” to be born, and “a time to die,” so our Lord had two more days work of healing and preaching in that area before he would get to Lazarus. For he was longsuffering to the elect in that area, not willing that any should perish. (2 Peter 3:9).
In his infinite wisdom he was willing for Lazarus to die, but not to perish! The well-being of Lazarus is to serve the highest purpose – that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. And so is the death in sin, and the resurrection in grace of every one of God’s elect children! John 17:10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. For the glory of the spiritual resurrection – which we call regeneration – brings all of us to a oneness with all the ransomed church of God, and with God Himself! John 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Another key as to the two day period which passed before the Lord went to Lazarus is found in Luke 9:59-62. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. 60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. 61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. 62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
The gospel ministry is not a vocation, or a profession. It is a call into being devoted to the glory of the Master – Jesus Christ! 1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! The true christian does not belong to himself, but is bought with a price. Therefore he cannot come and go with the liberty of the religious. He must always seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, leaving all else to be added as God wills! (Matt. 6:33). This being the case, we don’t really know that many true christians today, although we are flooded with religionists!
Let us now take note of another phrase, not in our context, but is recorded later in this chapter. John 11:53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. It was on “that day” – that very same day, in which he had given Lazarus life, that the Jews finally decided to give him death! Take a moment and look back up in the second column of this writing and reread Luke 13:33. Until he could report to the Father, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do (John 17:4), the sun could not rise on “that day” in which the determination for the death of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8), could actually become a reality.
And what was the mind of the Son of God concerning this? According to his own testimony, he was in full knowledge and submission to this being the purpose of his Father! John 12:23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
John 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. 31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.
He was aware that in his death and resurrection, those chosen in him before the foundation of the world (Ephesians. 1:4), would have their eternal life. Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
But now, what then of his groaning? If we study the scriptures carefully we can clearly find that it was an unutterable intercession! Consider verses forty one and forty two of John eleven. Listen to his words to the Father there. John 11: 41 Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: But wait a minute! Show me just where in this passage that it is listed that he prayed! Of course, it is not shown that he kneeled; that he lifted up his hands, or his eyes; nor that he called anyone to enter into prayer with him. In fact the remainder of verse forty two reveals that the reason he was then praying was so that now the people which stand by might know that he was already heard! – But again, when did he pray?
Consider this verse: Romans 8:26 …but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. His groans were but the heavenly telegraph! Someone has rightly said that groans are but “the sound of felt inability to express the deepest emotions!” And that is a good definition. But just because they are the means of releasing the urgency of passionate emotions without words, does not mean that God does not hear them! In fact that verse actually states that this is the “language” the Holy Spirit uses in making intercession for us! Dear Ones, the Lord God has always, without fail, heard every sigh and every groan of all his people throughout all the ages.
Judges 2:18 And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them. Exodus 6:5 And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant. This is a great part in how the true saint can “pray without ceasing!” 2 Corin. 5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
But there is a far more serious aspect to his groaning! Listen to the next verse to that Romans chapter eight verse. For as soon as it says that the Spirit makes intercession with groanings, we read: Romans 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. The focus of the Father is immediately drawn to that groaning soul! The groaning soul has his heart searched for a proper intercession. And as far as heaven hearing our pitiful groans, this is great! But, as we have already stated, there is a far more serious aspect to the Lord’s groanings!
For the Lord Christ must be in all points tempted like as we are, and yet remain without sin! (Hebrew. 4:15). Consider this truth: Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. In order for God the Father to be completely “satisfied” with mankind for the first time since Adam sinned, there must be a holy perfection in the groanings of this last Adam, who also comes to stand before God on his own merit! For he has stated, “I and the Father are one.” His groans are then, the very groans of God!
Therefore these groans cannot have a shred of self pity! They cannot be polluted with a single drop of resentment! He cannot have the blaming attitude of the first Adam and say, “The woman you gave me did it!” (And of course, the Bride of Christ, the church, did cause the sin which necessitated his death!). That is why we posed the question in the third column of page one of this article as to the mind of the Son of God concerning his time to die! For as the priest must carefully examined the lamb for sacrifice, to insure that there are no blemishes, so the Father carefully examined “the travail of his soul!” For this sacrificial Lamb must be according to the required perfections of God, dying as a man for men!
That Hebrew phrase, He shall see, of Isaiah 53:11 is translated into English in Lamentations 3:36 as, approveth. That is, the Father was to examine the Son’s travail as a matter of having to give his approval for heaven’s acceptance of this one time sacrifice. For it is to “satisfy” almighty God once and for all, concerning man’s standing before Him! For Christ had not only to live a perfect life, think without prejudice with a perfect mind, act in every instance to fulfill the law, but he also had to die a perfect death!
I don’t think we of this age have the slightest clue of the glory of Jesus Christ in providing God His satisfaction, and the elect of God their salvation! Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
But let us notice that which the Father’s eyes were concerned with. It was not just with his physical sufferings, which the Whore Church puts all the emphasis upon. But it was with the travail of his soul! That word is translated, “grievousness” in Isaiah 10:1. And that Hebrew word is first mentioned in Genesis 41:51, translated into English as, “my toil.” For God the Father, was at that time making God the Son to be sin for us who knew no sin, in order that we might be made the very righteousness of God in him! (2 Corin. 5:21). THAT was the “toil” and the “grievousness” upon the Son of God, which made his sweat to be drops of blood!
The Father had to be satisfied in order for the sinner to be cleansed. For redemption was for God’s own sake! Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Like unto Lazarus’ resurrection, Jesus’ was also for the glory of Himself as the Son of God! John 11:4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
The order of accomplishment is given us in the Son’s prayer to the Father at the time of the cross. John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; First, it was for the glory of God! … glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 17:2 Secondly, it was for his Lordship over all things! … As thou hast given him power over all flesh, Then, last in order, it was for the salvation of all that the Father had given him! … that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Dear ones, God’s being kept just in the justification of the sinner is imperative! Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Pastor Gene Breed 11/16/14