I think it is fairly common in informal biblical apologetics to say the surprising elements in the Bible speak for its authenticity. There are things in Scripture that no mere human would ever think to insert. Things that at first glance – or even second and third – don’t seem to ‘belong’.

Until you really think about them and put them in context.

One such minor detail is found in John 11:5. Jesus has just been informed of his very good friend’s serious illness, and has been asked to go and heal him:

“Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, SO when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stated two days longer in the place where he was.”

Not normally a good friend’s response. But, of course, Jesus wasn’t a normal man and in the greater narrative, and the Bible as a whole, we understand his motive. That God be glorified.

His last great miracle was bringing life from death. Pointing forward to his own resurrection, and ours in him -spiritually in this age, and bodily when he comes again.

What could have been more appropriate?

But what a long couple of days it had to be for Martha and Mary. I often think that, to God, a thousand years are as a day. But to us, when we suffer, a day can be like a thousand years. Every second is interminable.

I have heard it said that ‘eternity’ is often misunderstood. That ‘everlasting’ life is more the concept of the new heavens and the new earth. In other words, there is time and it goes on forever.

But no longer will we be crying out, “How long, O Lord God of heaven and earth?”

If a second ‘feels’ like a thousand years, all the better!

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