HOST: Ron House
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 odor, 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.”
As Jesus, and those who were with Him, gathered at the tomb of Lazarus, one thing was sure—Lazarus was dead. It had been four days. He had been wrapped and prepared for burial. He had been placed in a cave as his tomb, and the opening had been sealed. So sure was Martha of her brother’s death that she objected to Jesus’ instruction to remove the stone from the tomb’s opening, concerned about the stench that would surely emanate from Lazarus’ decomposing body. Why does any of this matter? While the power to heal sickness was amazing and unique to Jesus, He had certainly demonstrated His power over physical illness. Those who believed in Him had no trouble believing that He could heal the sick. In this case, both Mary and Martha stated that, if Jesus had been there in time, He could have healed Lazarus. But to raise the dead was another matter completely. It was a challenge to the faith of even the most faithful to believe that Jesus could raise from the dead one who had been dead four days. But once again, and in dramatic fashion, Jesus powerfully proved His authority over physical life, and Lazarus lived.
What encouragement do we gain from Jesus’ raising of Lazarus?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!