In John chapter 1, Jesus tells two disciples of John the Baptist, one of whom was Andrew the brother of Peter, to “come and see” where he was staying. They spent the whole day with Jesus and Andrew ended up introducing his brother, Peter, to Jesus. Eventually both of them became disciples of Christ.
A few verses later, Nathanael, another would-be disciple is invited by Philip to “come and see” this man named Jesus he has been following.
Not long after this in chapter 4, Jesus tells a Samaritan woman about the living water he offers. The woman went on to encourage the people in her city to “come and see” Jesus the Messiah.
Three times people were invited to “come and see” Jesus the Messiah, either by Jesus himself or by those deeply affected by him. It’s the invitation to discipleship.
Later in John 11, we find Jesus traveling to Bethany to attend to his beloved friend Lazarus who died only four days before. When he drew close to the city, he met with Lazarus’ two sisters; first with Martha, then with Mary.
When Mary came out to meet Jesus she knelt at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” She was weeping and mourning the loss of her brother along with many other Jews from the area. When Jesus asked where Lazarus was laid, the mourners said to him, “come and see.”
This is when Jesus wept.
When Jesus was asked to come and see, the tables were turned. He who invited others to come and see the purpose of God being accomplished through him was now invited to come and see the fate of fallen and sinful humanity, exemplified by a tomb.
Jesus, being both fully human and fully God, was confronted with the desperate situation humanity found itself in; the same humanity that Jesus was baptized into.
When Jesus was invited to come and see, he did not balk, but obediently heeded the will of his Father through the power of the Holy Spirit. Christ endured death on the cross on our behalf taking the whole weight of humanity’s fallenness upon his self. Being a perfect sacrifice, God the Father vindicated him by resurrecting him, a resurrection to new life that Jesus shares with those who believe and are baptized into him. Through Christ, death no longer has its sting. It is no longer victorious and it no longer has the final say. The tomb was not the end for Christ, nor will it be the end for those who are in Christ. Amen.