Lazarus was in the tomb for four days.
Mary said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.” She and her sister Martha were weeping as they told the Master. Jesus, stirred with compassion, stood with them and shared their grief.
We too can be grieving when we call upon Jesus. He stands with us and comforts us. But He takes us on from there. He knows where we are and where we’re going. Let’s walk with Him and trust Him as He walks with us, because ‘we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him’ (Romans 8:28).
Mary and Martha had sent word to Jesus to tell Him that Lazarus their brother was sick. He loved Lazarus as a dear friend, yet he stayed where He was for two more days.
God won’t be rushed. He is patient and compassionate. He knows our every need but wants us to look to Him for who He is, not for what He can do. Jesus assured Martha that her brother would rise again. Martha had faith. “Yes Lord, I believe you are the Christ, the Son of God.” This is fundamental. We need to know who He is before we approach Him. He’s not a qualified doctor, or a learned professor, but Jesus, Son of the most high God. His ways are deeper than our ways, and always in accordance with the will of the Father.
Jesus could easily have gone to Lazarus before he died and restored Him. But He had a better way. For Lazarus, His dear friend, He had something special. Healing was not enough. Jesus came to restore life, so that people would know He had come from God; that all may see and believe. Lazarus had to wait.
Jesus said, “Open the grave.” Martha was concerned there would be a bad odour, the stench of death, and there would have been. There was no mistake. Lazarus was dead. Jesus Himself was soon to know this experience, but death would not hold Him. He called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The chains of death fell off and Lazarus emerged from the tomb.
For what reasons do we call upon God? Is it for our benefit and peace of mind? Or do we come to Him as we would approach the throne of the King, with humility and reverence? Yes, we already have permission: `Let us then approach God`s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need’ (Hebrews 4:16).
Jesus came that we may have fullness of life, to complete that which began on the cross. The Apostle Paul said, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). Eternal life is not living forever, just as we are. Eternal life begins with the source of life Himself, Jesus.
Prayer: I thank You, Lord, that You broke the chains of death so I may have life. Please help me to live by Your presence as You guide me every day. But so often it’s all about me, and what I want. Help me to look to You always, so that I am able to say, “Your will be done in my life, day by day.” In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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