TD Jakes - Strange Tears
This is the opiate of theological understanding. It is the apex of intellectual wisdom and understanding of the purpose and the mandates of God. It all climaxes in these two words: "Jesus wept" at how Lazarus loved him enough to go first. Lazarus went first. Lazarus set it off. Lazarus set it all into motion. Lazarus caused it all to ignite. It was when Lazarus died that the priests started whispering. It was then that the wheels started turning. It was then that the motion was enacted, and there was no turning back. Lazarus died so that Jesus could be in the purpose of God. He was the sign that Jesus was waiting for. There wouldn't have been no Gethsemane if Lazarus hadn't've died. There wouldn't've been no Calvary if Lazarus hadn't've of died. There wouldn't have been no resurrection.
Lazarus dying was a sign that it was time, that he had enough haters for God to prepare a table. And Jesus walked in the house in front of people who were angry at him, and he wept. He could not have been weeping over Lazarus being dead, because he knew he was going to wake him up. See, if I know that my loved one is gonna get up, my tears don't make any sense, because if I know I'm just gonna wake 'em up, then we're just playing hide and go seek. But if I know that you love me enough to let me be late, and went ahead and died without me even kissing your forehead goodbye, or holding your hand, or whispering in your ear that you were obedient unto the death, that you were faithful to the very end, that you would pay the ultimate sacrifice without wearing a uniform.
Lazarus died, but Jesus missed the funeral. Lazarus died and Jesus didn't even make the benediction. Lazarus died and Jesus didn't even show up at the graveside service. Lazarus died, and they have rolled a stone in front of him. Lazarus died, and the crowd has dissipated. Lazarus died, and the family had gone back home. And Jesus walks into a house. Having missed every major moment that they were hoping for, he had completely let them down, and he wept in the house. And then he wiped his face.
I cannot promise you that I will not cry. I cannot promise you that I will not shed tears. I cannot tell you that you might not say something that makes my face get wet. But if you ever let me wipe my face, it's gonna be game on. If you ever let me wipe my face, if you ever see me go to doing like this, the best thing for you to do is get on in the car. If you see me go to wiping my face, and snotting down my nose and everything, and I don't care that it's snotting down my nose, and I don't care what I look like, the best thing for you to do is get to the car as fast as you can. He wiped his face and said, "Show me". Show me, show me where you laid him down. Show me where you gave up. Show me where you stopped believing. Show me where you threw in the towel. Show me where you decided I wasn't coming. Show me where you thought it was the end of the story, because I'm gonna set it off where you laid it down, right in the same spot, oh. Yeah, right in the same spot where you laid it down, I'm going to set it off.
And I want you to get me by the hand, and take me to the spot where you gave up. Take me to the place where you quit. Take me to the place where you gave in. Take me to the place where you decided nothing else was going to happen in your life. Take me to the place where you decided it is what it is. Take me to that spot right there. That's where I wanna be. I didn't want to be at the funeral. I didn't want to be at the wake. I didn't want to be at the graveside service. I didn't wanna say the benediction. I wanted to show up and make you take me back to the spot where you decided nothing else was gonna happen in your life. And they led Jesus to the tomb, as he would one day be carried to a tomb. This is a dress rehearsal. They brought him to the tomb, and then he says somethin' that challenged even the closest disciples's faith. He told them to roll the stone away.
Now Lord, I believe you, but ain't no need in rolling the stone away. They started whispering because by now, he stinketh. God wants you to take him to the place in your life that stinks. He's tired of you showing him the aromatized, air-conditioned, synthesized, pasteurized places in your life. Take me to that stinky place, that place that is embarrassing, that place where you gave up. And then he says, "Roll the stone away". If you're watching me right now, there's a stone you have to roll away. And God won't roll it for you. I know you're waiting on God to roll your stone away, but he will not roll your stone away. He will later roll his stone away, but he will not roll your stone away. Every man, every woman, every boy, every girl has to roll their own stone away.
You have to have the courage to smell the stench of your failure. You have to have the courage to look the thing in the face that gave you PTSD. You gotta roll the stone away. You can't get better until you confront that thing that's driving you crazy. You gotta roll the stone away and look it right in the face. And they rolled the stone away. And they roll the stone away, and they didn't want to think of him decomposing on the inside of there. They rolled the stone away, and it was worse than the death, because now he's taken the scab off the wound. I mean, brother's stinking, which means he's decomposing, which means that according to the laws of the Sadducees, who believed that the spirit didn't leave the body till after the third day, Jesus waited till he was dead four days, so that they couldn't think that he was waking up somebody who was in a coma.
Sometimes God will wait till there is no question that if you get out of this, it has got to be a miracle. Everybody's doctrine will validate that, yeah, she dead. Yeah, he's bankrupt. Yeah, he's down. Yes, he's out. No, he'll never get up. No, he'll never be paranoid schizophrenic. The diagnosis is in, the verdict is in from the court, you now in the jail cell, and then God shows up where everything is impossible with men. And then he indulges and luxuriates himself in a private conversation that he lets us eavesdrop on in the Scriptures. Because in front of all of this crowd of naysayers, and doubters, and a mixed crowd of people who used to believe, and some that half believed, and most who hated him, he doesn't talk to none of them. He doesn't confer with flesh and blood at all. Instead, he lets us here, a Son talking to his Father, and there is no conversation on Earth like a son talking to his father. There is something about your son talking to you that is different than any other conversation you will ever have, because when a father and a son talk, it's not like two people talking, it's like one.
And we get to hear Jesus talk to his daddy, and listen at what he says. "I know you hear me. I know you hear me". In other words, we are so tight that if I thought hard, Lazarus would get out of the grave. "But for the benefit of those who don't believe, I want them to know that this didn't just happen, I want them to know what my Word will do, so I'm going to speak a Word". I didn't even have to speak the Word, 'cause you and me got it like that. You know my thoughts afar off. If I just stood here and stared, he'd get out the grave. But because this is the trip switch that's going to set it off, that's going to set my destiny in motion, that's gonna push chaos over the edge, that's gonna cause the people to get so excited about me, that my haters are going to come to kill me, I'm going to say it out loud, because Lazarus died for me to have this moment, and I'm going to have it in front of everybody. Lazarus... Excuse me, I had to get happy a minute.
See, if you have never been into nothing that only God could call you out of, you don't understand what it is to have him call you out of something that you could not get out of on your own. There may be a few people in this room that have been down so deep in some stinky stuff, that if God didn't call you out, you would have never got... Lazarus. You might be watching me right now, I don't care how long you've been an addict, I don't care, how long you've been depressed, I don't care how long you've been down, I don't care how deep in sin you are.
When God says, "Lazarus". I don't know. I don't know what part came to life first. I don't know whether his left ventricle begin to pump, and then his right one began to pump. I don't know whether his aorta began to get warm, and what was congealed began to turn to liquid, and began to liquefy, it and began to move down. I don't know which arteries began to move down from which corpuscles, down to what cells in order, but little by little, all of a sudden, somethin' started workin' up under some bandages, until all of a sudden, the bound man that was shut up in the tomb, that was decomposing, that was falling apart, that the lice was eating on, the lice had to throw up the flesh they had chewed up, because Jesus said, "Lazarus". And I want to tell you everything that's been eating you up is about to throw up everything that's been holding you down, 'cause God said, "Lazarus".
Look at your neighbor and tell 'em, "I'm comin' out of this". I want to say my goodbyes right now, because my time of being locked up in this situation is over. My time of being held down, it's over now. I just spent my last night down here with you. I hear somebody calling me now, "Lazarus". I don't know who this is for, but the Lord said I'm calling you. I'm going to call you out of the situation that you could not get out of on your own. I'm going to call you out of that stinking situation that you've been in and thought you couldn't get out. But I want you to hear this Word, because when I call you again, you're gonna leap out of that thing. You gonna leap out. You ain't gonna walk out, you're not gonna priss out, you're not gonna strut out, but you're gonna leap out. And when I say, "Lazarus," I want everything in here to leap, "Lazarus"!
Lazarus, Lazarus, I'm not finished with you! Lazarus, I call you out of your grave! Lazarus, hey, Lazarus! Lazarus, Lazarus, Lazarus! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. He began to come out. He couldn't come out as other men came out. He could not walk out. He could not stride out. He could not pimp out. But he began to leap out. Look at your neighbor and say, "Any way I can. I'm comin' out of this any way I can". I'm coming out if I got a sweat. If I gotta crawl, if I gotta shut in my house and speak in tongues, I'm comin' out of this. I need about 30 seconds of crazy praise in this place.
The Lord sent me to you this morning to say thank you for letting me use your struggle for my glory. I never was gonna leave you in it, but I needed a witness that I'm stronger than death, hell, and the grave. I'm stronger than sickness and disease. I'm strong than the devil and his witches. I'm stronger than a hex and a spell. I'm stronger than what your mama did. I'm stronger than what your daddy did. The Lord told me to tell... I'm stronger, I'm stronger, I'm stronger. I only cry because you trusted me enough to get in trouble. You trusted me enough to let me use your life as a testimony.
Oh, I feel like preaching now. "Hey, it was just a test in a controlled environment to see if you would give your life for me. I woke you up, because it is not written that you should 'die for me, it is written that I should die for you.' I just needed you to set me up. If you set me up, I'm gonna wake you up. Lazarus, come out of that grave". Jesus wept, 'cause he knew it was time. Jesus knew what Lazarus's death meant, and he would have to leave his friends, his disciples, and his mama and them. Jesus knew that his work was finished, that his task was done, "that thus it is written, and thus it behooved us that his hour had now come".
"Don't weep for Lazarus, Mary. Don't cry for him, Martha. You will see Lazarus again before you see me. It's not Lazarus that has to go, it's me. I must go away that you might live. Come on back home. Come on, now. Stop playing around with them other corpses, you're not one of your dead friends. You're not one of them. I let you play over there for about three days, but now this is the fourth day, now come on. I'm going to give you the grace to escape. All of you that hear this message, yeah, I'm gonna give you the grace to escape. If you come right now, no devil in hell can stop you. If you come right now, I'll bring you out with your legs tired, and your arms tied behind your back, and I'll still snatch you out. I'll take you with a needle hangin' out of your arm. I'll take you with tracks up and down your legs and in your toes. I'll take you with the marks of where you tried to slit your wrists. I will snatch you off the pole, and turn a stripper into a saint. But you've gotta come now, 'cause the stone is moved. If you're gonna get out, you gotta get out now".