Lazarus stinketh

 When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” John 11:28-37

Jesus reveals his humanity. He experiences pain and loss like we do. He is the God who has walked in our footsteps. He can empathise with us in the pain and heartache of life for he faced pain and heartache. He knows what it is like to have lost a close friend. And seeing those he cared about so distraught moved him to tears. He knew what was about to happen but he was still moved to tears because it broke his heart to see his friends so upset. He is the God of compassion and He cares about the things that upset us, no matter how trivial. We can bring all our concerns and worries to Him. As the old song goes, cast all your burdens upon the Lord, for Jesus cares, He cares for you

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.  Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odour, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”  When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.”  The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John 11:38-44

Lazarus is dead, unquestionably dead. As the KJV puts it, the crowds were concerned when Jesus said to take away the stone, for after being buried for so long, by now he would “stinketh”. Yet God is in the business of bringing the dead to life. In our sin we are all dead like Lazarus was, but through Jesus we can have life everlasting. When we are dead we have no hope. But with Jesus we can have hope, for He is in the business of bringing the dead to life. And it is not dependent on anything we do – it is totally dependent on Him. We do not have to earn his favour. He has loved us from before the world was formed, and he longs to bring us to life in all its fullness. Lazarus had been dead for four days now; his body would have begun to rot. Life would have been impossible. But our God is in the business of making the impossible possible. He can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. When we are faced with impossible situations we need to surrender them over to Jesus and let Him move in power. Let Him continue to bring what was dead to life and let Him bring transformation in your life as you surrender to Him.

 

Learn more the author of this post:

Pete McM
The original founder of All4God, Pete is 26, lives in Northern Ireland, is a junior doctor, Ulster fan and is passionate about Jesus
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