Journey to Jerusalem Day 39
Saturday, April 4 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.”
The story of Lazarus always reminds me of a lyric of a song that often gets stuck in my head. Now imagine a male British voice singing this, “The greatest comeback since Lazarus, the greatest comeback.” It always reminds me that Lazarus was dead longer than anyone who was resurrected in scripture, longer than Jesus himself.
Lazarus had been entombed for 4 days, which is a weird fun fact for a person that only appears once through the Gospel. He was one of Jesus’ best friends, yet why is he only mentioned once?
Maybe it’s for us to focus on the situation itself. The “Jesus wept” verse was a couple lines before our reading today, which shows Jesus feeling loss for a friend.
Then you have a disappointed Martha who is upset that Jesus did not get there fast enough. Then you have a Martha in disbelief that Jesus could do anything since Lazarus’ body has been decaying for four days.
Then Jesus showed her, right?
Lazarus was used as a vehicle to show God’s glory and power to us as well to show us a part of Jesus’ human nature we do not often see through scripture. This story is important because it shows God’s perfect timing. Jesus had done healing after healing before, but with Lazarus He showed even more of His power and authority by bringing him back to life.
God’s timing is always perfect as in this story of Lazarus. God answers our prayers in ways that are most effective because He knows what is best for us.
So, think about this story the next time you are being impatient. Maybe He will answer with a resurrection rather than a healing.
You make all things work together for good. God give me patience to wait for your glorious timing. Amen