30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. 32 Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her alsoweeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, 34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They *said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?” 38 So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, *came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39 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.” 40 Jesus *said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 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.” 43 When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice,“Lazarus, come forth.” 44 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.” John 11:30-44
If there ever was a verse better for posting on the frontals of your mind and quoting constantly, it is this one.
The lead up to Jesus raising Lazarus highlights all the typical questions we have when faced with bitter hard reality, from “if you had just been here,” to “by now he stinks”, translated, “there’s no hope.” In each case, because Jesus did not dwell in the past, as Mary did with her grief, nor was he limited to some minimum timeframe, as Martha alluded to for resurrecting the dead, he had no problem acting in the here and now.
We are so used to saying under our breath, “Yeah, sure.” We should be ashamed.
Well, thankfully, Jesus feels our pain, having experienced the same weaknesses that we have, yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). Remember, “he was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled.” Then he “wept.” Then “again being deeply moved within…” Why don’t we draw some solace and hope from this compassion on display! My Savior is “deeply moved” when I suffer pain and grief.
I also like how Jesus makes sure all the people know what he did and who authorized it. The lesson here is that when God provides, he will do so in such a way that everyone knows he did. It will be unmistakable! Why do some miracle and it can be argued that “luck was on his side?” Count on it. That miracle you’re expecting will be delivered in such grand fashion that the neon lights will flash, “God, God!”
As an aside, the only one in this story that might be a slight bit ticked is Lazarus. He was in paradise when Jesus put the call in for him to return! The ultimate letdown perhaps, but who was there when he came out? Jesus. So paradise was a little lacking at the time!
I say it’s high time for us, i.e. me, to remove the stone from whatever burden or fear we’ve been carrying around. Remove the stone and let God do his thing. Let him make the call and watch the opening for what he does. It will prove to be amazing.
In the meantime, while you wait, keep on repeating, “If I believe, I will see the glory of God!”