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Jesus wept the last time we met, today we see him raise Lazarus from the dead in John 11:38-44
38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 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.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 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.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 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.”
Jesus cried with Mary and her mourners, now he has come to the tomb and again he is deeply moved. It’s a hard thing when a friend dies. Now the tomb that Lazarus was in was a cave with a stone laid against it.
Then Jesus did the unexpected “Take away the stone.”
This cause the obvious hesitation. Martha was the one who spoke up “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”
Jesus stopped her though with a gentle reminder. “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” Such a nice reminder eh? You will see the glory of God. Oh.. I wish I was a fly on Martha’s mind. To know what she thought at that exact moment.
But the people listened, they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 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.” I read these words and I got to thinking, when I pray, do I pray only to God or do I pray to benefit those around me as well. Jesus thanked God for hearing him, even though he knew that God always did hear him, but he said it so that those gathered there would know it as well. His goal? That they would believe that God sent him (Jesus) to them. It’s always comes down to that with Jesus eh? He does what he must to encourage true faith in him. ALWAYS. I have so much to learn from him.
Anyways, getting back to the passage again. 🙂 Jesus next move was to cry out with a loud voice “Lazarus, come out.” Did Jesus have to use a loud voice? He probably could have whispered, but by talking loudly everyone present could hear him clearly. Remember his end goal is to develop faith in those listening. And miracles of miracles, Lazarus came out of the tomb. Hands and feet all bound up in linen strips, face wrapped in cloth. But out he came. This man Lazarus who had died CAME OUT.
Can you just imagine the shock? I can just imagine the stunned silence, followed by Jesus filling it with a needed command “Unbind him, and let him go.”
Would have been necessary eh? To get those tightly wrapped burial clothes off him, help him to breathe and move? Have the light of day shine on him again after being sick and then dead.