Remove the stones covering the tombs in you and see the glory of God
John 11:39,40 -
Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?"
If one looks at the miracles that Jesus did Lazarus was not the only person Jesus bought to life. There are many whom Jesus brought to live. Some on the same day they died, some may be the next day after they died. For example the widow whose son was brought to life at the city gate, she was not a Jew and they were taking the body for its last rites. Now how would one confirm if he had died the same day or the day before or even two days before?
We see among all miracles, the bringing back to life of Lazarus is considered the greatest miracle Jesus did. It is not because the body of Lazarus had decayed terribly. If we see when Jesus resurrected, many of the holy people who had died long before and whose body may have already become dust came out of their graves and appeared unto the people. Now there was no big issue made of this that all started believing in Jesus Christ.
It was Dr. Ron Charles a Historian and Archeologist from I came to know about how great the miracle of bringing back to life of Lazarus was and why this event became so famous which led the Pharisees to act on conspiring to kill Jesus. It was not to do with the degree of decay of Lazarus body but with Mary and Martha and the Jewish people. Although according to the traditions of the people staying in that area, the internal organs of Lazarus were removed and kept in pot and the body was filled with a concoction of honey, vinegar etc. to embalm it. Even after knowing this, it was not the main wonder of this miracle.
It is from historic and archeological studies we understand the stone which was in the mind of Mary and Martha and the people was bigger than the stone that covered the tomb of Lazarus. Jesus knew Lazarus died four days before He came there, but wept neither because Lazarus died nor because He saw Mary and Martha weeping, but He saw the stone in Mary was greater than that which covered the tomb. Let me explain.
The Jews we see here were influenced by the Egyptians and followed the burial rituals of the Egyptians. In the process of following traditions they also let the belief of the Egyptians to slip into their minds.
The Egyptians believed the dead could be raised back to life within the four days of their death and therefore their tombs were designed in that fashion. After the four days they believed that even God could not raise the dead.
Jesus delayed His coming there so that He could prove that God is Almighty and nothing is impossible for Him.
Like Mary and Martha we too who believe in God, due to our living with the unbelievers of this world have many parts of our lives which have become tombs with large stones coving them. They have a name plate written 'NOTHING CAN HAPPEN HERE'. Even if Jesus Christ Himself appears unto us, we may land up saying to Him 'do not waste your time this area is far too dead for You to do anything'.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, our God is Almighty God and NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM. It is time you and I move these stones of these tombs, however long dead they may be and allow the Glory of God to be seen in our lives. There is no area so dead that God cannot heal or bring life into it.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord Jesus, forgive us for the tombs we have created in our lives and the huge stones we have put unto them. Lord, forgive us for the disbelief we have harbored in us, even when we have seen so many mighty wonders with our own eyes. Lord, help us by your grace to remove these stone and see that You are indeed Almighty...
This prayer we ask in Your Mighty Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.
29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.
30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days."
40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?"
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
42 "And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me."
43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!"
44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."
50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, "Truly this was the Son of God!"
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