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.” — [john 11:38-44]
Jesus was deeply moved
it is important to grasp that our Messiah was fully God, yet just as human as we are. Jesus felt every emotion we do. all these things stirred deep emotion – the tomb where his friend was laid, the mourners who would still not understand, the power that death holds over humanity. all these moved Jesus in his spirit just as they move us.
take away the stone
Jesus had explained to his apostles that they were about to see a miracle [john 11:4], but I don’t think that everyone there really understood what was about to happen. when Jesus commanded the tomb be opened, the response was that ‘there will be an odor’. martha is worried about the stench of death, and not considering that Jesus is about to raise him back to life.
it makes sense, because this was a miracle in the making, not something commonplace or expected.
how often do we allow the stench of death to hinder us from seeing a miracle? failing to confess hidden sin, choosing not to share our struggles with fellow believers, choosing to keep death safely locked away instead of allowing Jesus to move the stone and finish it off??
how many times have I looked Jesus in the eye and said, “not in there, Lord?”.
Once the stone was moved, to the astonishment of all, lazarus emerged from the grave. he would die again, but this was a sign that Jesus alone holds the power of life and death. that he alone is the resurrection.
there is no place off limits to Him. His power and majesty will bring life to the darkest and most desolate of tombs.
he simply asks us to move the stone.
~ jason soroski