A Stronger is Here

From “The Raising of Lazarus,” Notes on the Miracles of Our Lord, 439-440 (1846)

[Jesus’ groaning at the tomb of Lazarus] is capable of a perfectly adequate explanation. It was the indignation which the Lord of all life felt at all that sin had wrought. He beheld death in all its dread significance, as the wages of sin; the woes of a whole world, of which this was but a little sample, rose up before his eyes; all its mourners and all its graves were present to him. For that he was about to wipe away the tears of those present and turn for a little while their sorrow into joy, did not truly alter the case. Lazarus rose again, but only to taste a second time the bitterness of death; these mourners he might comfort, but only for a season; these tears he might stanch, only again hereafter to flow; and how many had flowed and must flow with no such Comforter to wipe them, even for a season away.

As he contemplated all this, a mighty indignation at the author of all this human anguish possessed his heart. And now he will no longer delay, but will at once do battle with death and with him that hath the power of death, the devil; and spoiling, though but in part, the goods of the strong man armed, will give proof that a Stronger is here.

Richard Trench (1807-1886) was an Irish Anglican archbishop and Biblical scholar, who served as professor of theology at Kings College London and as Dean of Westminster Abbey before becoming Archbishop of Dublin. He is probably best known for today for his studies of Jesus’ parables and miracles.

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