Jesus replied, "Did I not tell you that if you believe, you would see the glory of God?"
- John 11:40
I know, I know. It sounds like something your grandma says when she’s about to burst with joy. But, stick with me here, there’s so much to be said about this underutilized little beauty. Glory is the word that the Bible uses to explain what it’s like when God shows up. It’s magnificent, other-worldly, excellent, breathtaking… And, in our passage, it’s what you get when you believe －you get to see the very GLORY of GOD revealed.
In fact, Jesus is so eager for his disciples to see his glory, that he says Lazarus’ death “is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” You see, there's a much larger plan in place than the comfort and happiness of even Jesus’ closest friends. It’s of the utmost importance for them to understand and see Jesus’ glory. And, boy do they ever see it! Lazarus, a man dead for 4 days, walks out of the tomb of his own accord. What a display of the power and the glory of Jesus! Many believe and follow him.
But, some don’t.
Interestingly enough, some others see Jesus’ miraculous works as a problem. They want him “taken care of”. They simply can't "believe and see" the glory of this amazing miracle. Instead, in their disbelief, they go tattle to the religious opposition, who immediately put into action the plan that leads to Jesus’ eventual betrayal and execution. But, even death can't stop the GLORY of GOD. Instead, Jesus makes a full display of it by overcoming death itself for all who would believe.
Just like those who witnessed the miracle of Lazarus, we too have a choice to make. How are we going to interpret the mystery and the miracle of Jesus' resurrection (i.e. being raised from the dead)? Will we see the glory of it, understanding that it was for us? Or, not? If Jesus truly overcame death, if he is God, and there is such a thing as eternal life, then we need to believe it. The GLORY of GOD is just waiting to wash over those who have eyes to see and hearts that believe.