God’s Appointed Time

“Nevertheless let us go to him.”

– John 11:15

Jesus was summoned to Bethany. A village two miles from Jerusalem. An area close to where the Chief Priests already sent out word to have Him arrested. Lazarus, who held a special place in the Lord’s heart, was dying. This is the one Christ wept for. And our Savior loves each one of us in the same way. He is attentive to our grief and our needs. So much so that He died for us! And, as Mary and Martha appealed to the Lord through His love for Lazarus to come to them, may we do the same. When we pray, let us call to the Master and appeal to His great love for us. Hearts of repentance open heavens doors and perk the ears of God (2 Chronicles 7:14). Just as He came to Lazarus, Jesus will come to us.

The disciples did not want to go. If Jesus’ life was threatened, so was theirs. It was “guilt by association.” Who better for a Christian to be accused of associating with other than Christ? We should find this to be the greatest compliment of our lives! Yet the twelve argued with Jesus, reminding Him that the Jews wanted Him dead. Jesus mentions Lazarus was asleep, so they made the case that he would get well independently. When the Lord continued to urge them to travel with Him, it was Thomas that spoke up. He holds true to his namesake as a doubter by sarcastically responding, “Well, might as well go too and die with Jesus.”

Imagine John recapping the scene for us as Thomas may have carried out his thoughts further. We hear Thomas say, “Lord, you cannot be serious! How does it make sense for You to move a great ministry from this side of the Jordan to a place that makes no sense? Let those who are already there take care of Lazarus. Let us spare our own lives where we are at. We are in a good place, healthy land, away from harm and danger.” As pilgrims in this foreign land and temporary tents, the most challenging path to choose is the one that leads to death. Death of our own will, hopes, dreams, and desires. And yet, it is the essential path of the Christian. Meditate on how Christ felt when He set His face to go to Jerusalem, and you will quickly discover the real joy of this choice (Luke 9:51). You will be joined together with all other saints in this Christian fraternity.

“The Lord Jesus was walking in perfect obedience to the will of God. There was thus no danger of His being killed before the appointed time. He would be preserved until His work was done. In a sense this is true of every believer. If we are walking in fellowship with the Lord and doing His will, there is no power on earth that can kill us before God’s appointed time.”

– William MacDonald

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