[This is our fourth and last installment from the John’s account of Jesus raising His friend Lazarus from the dead.]
So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done. Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
– John 11:38-48 NASB
Ever the worrier, Martha expresses concern about the smell Jesus will unleash on the funeral party if His command to open the tomb is obeyed. Jesus then reminds her that He has already promised her, “Your brother will rise again.” Jesus then doubles His potential jeopardy by commanding, “Lazarus, come forth.” If Lazarus doesn’t come out of that grave, Jesus is going to be completely discredited and humiliated. Yet here comes Lazarus – and everyone knew that Jesus was no ordinary man.
Note, however, the lengths to which men will go to deny a miracle…just to protect the earthly life they know.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, just as You raised Lazarus so You can raise all of us…and all of us You will indeed raise. Let me live today in that light…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.