Jesus purposely waited until Lazarus closed his eyes in death before He made his way back to his beloved friends. So consumed with grief and loss, Martha and Mary could only acknowledge their present circumstance; life without their dear brother. Maybe it was the ceremonious death rituals that they’d been enduring for the past four days that kept them from seeing the possibilities available at Jesus’ arrival. Maybe it was Lazarus’ last days of struggling to stay alive that were etched in their minds, keeping them from even contemplating that Jesus could turn their lives around and bring their brother back to them.
Whatever the cause of their unbelief, Jesus was determined to reset their expectations. He requested that they remove the stone. Such a simple request, yet monumental in its fulfillment. Jesus knew that if they would take this baby step, this first step, He would resurrect that which had been dead. But there simply must be enough expectation to fuel their belief, so He tested them by that simple request. At first there was the argument of the deterioration of Lazarus’ body, but that was met with Jesus reminding them that they were in a place to see the glory of God. We all know that when their expectation met up with God’s intentions, a miracle took place.
What is it in your life that you feel has been buried and now has a rock covering the entrance to it? Is it a dream, a hope, a promise? Maybe you feel so consumed with the process of watching it die, burying it, and mourning over it that you have forgotten that Jesus wants to resurrect it in His time. Don’t forget that our Lord knows what kind of impact the miracle of raising the dead can have on you and others around you. So strong was that impact, that the Bible says Jesus’ and Lazarus’ lives were sought to be destroyed. Don’t allow the enemy to destroy your hope, because out of your hope and expectation, promises are fulfilled.
John 11:1-44, John 12:9-11