Friday, February 21 2020 - 3:46 AM
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Mad at Death

Have you ever been mad at death? Most people are sad when a loved one dies, but mad? Anger is one of the steps in the cycle of grief, so it makes sense to be angry. We may be angry with the loss and whoever perpetrated it (if someone else was responsible for causing it).

When Jesus came to Bethany and saw Mary and the others crying over the death of Lazarus, he became angry.

“When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled” (John 11:33, NLT).

This is an amazing thought that Jesus was mad at death and undoubtedly with the devil who instigated it. When we experience such anger, there isn’t much else we can do than be angry. But Jesus had an additional set of “tools” to work with and he called for action!

“‘Where have you put him?’ he asked them. They told him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ The people who were standing nearby said, ‘See how much he loved him!’ But some said, ‘This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?’ Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. ‘Roll the stone aside,’ Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, ‘Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible’” (John 11:34, 36-39, NLT).

Up to this point Jesus had manifested his divinity through miracles that altered physical science—turning water into wine, healing the blind, etc. but when he started “messing with the dead,” his claims took on a more serious note. Suddenly the religious leaders who viewed Jesus as a false prophet and agitator realized he was in a different league. Yet, even though he had literally raised someone from the dead, they wanted to kill him. Unlike Jesus, they were not mad at death. They were mad at God for allowing Jesus to conquer it!

Rich DuBose writes from Northern California.

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About Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference.

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