Remove The Stone
The Bible in John 11:1-45 records an amazingly powerful account of Jesus raising Lazarus from death to life. By the time Jesus arrives at Bethany, Lazarus has been dead for four days and buried in the tomb. Upon seeing Jesus, Martha and Mary, Lazarus’ sisters, both exclaim that if Jesus had been there earlier, their brother would not have died (John 1:21, 32). Some of the people who are there also say this of Jesus, “…Couldn’t He have kept Lazarus from dying?” John 1:37
I think each of us has a Lazarus in our lives. An unfulfilled dream that we no longer dare to even think about. A broken relationship that we have given up hope on. Hopes for the future that have been dashed. Troubled finances that we no longer see a way out of. All these things that we actually wish can work out for us, we have already buried them. Like dead Lazarus buried in a cave with a stone across its entrance. We have pronounced our aspirations and desires dead, buried them and put up a stone – a stone of impossibility and hopelessness.
When Jesus is brought to the tomb where Lazarus has been buried, He instructs, “Remove the stone…” John 11:39
Martha immediately protests, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.” John 11:39
To the dreams and relationships we may have long buried, Jesus is telling us today to stop weeping and grieving, and remove the stone of impossibility and hopelessness.
Maybe you are like Martha, saying, “But Lord, I’ve tried so many times.” Or “It’s going to be so tough if I tried again.” Or “Forget it, I’ve got used to life as it is now. I’d better not try and rock the boat.”
Jesus tells us today what He responds to Martha in John 11:40, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”
We have to stop lamenting about the ‘could have’, ‘should have’, ‘but’ and ‘what if’ in our situation. We have to start to believe. Believe Jesus and believe in Jesus. This is the central and foundational key to seeing God’s glory and His fullness in our life.
“So they removed the stone.” The Bible tells us in John 11:41.
Jesus then prays and give thanks to God so that when the miracle of Lazarus being resurrected takes place, all the people know all glory goes to God. After this, Jesus shouts out these words, “Lazarus, come out!” John 11:43
My friends, believe. Roll the stone that has been blocking your dreams from God’s power of resurrection. Thereafter, we have to speak into our situation God’s Words. It is at the words of Jesus, “Lazarus, come out!” that previously dead Lazarus walks out of the tomb. No amount of positive talk, self-will or self-motivation can do for us what only the Word of God can.
What is the Lazarus in your life today that needs to come out of the cave? Know that Jesus is here with you loving you and waiting to help you. What is the stone that you have put outside the cave? Remove the stone. Have you been feeling remorse and regret and been lamenting? Start proclaiming the life-giving Word of God. And see for yourself the buried ruins turn to glorious testimonies of God’s life and resurrection power.
At the same time, there are many caves out there around us that need stones removed. These are the people who have not known Jesus and have not received and experienced the new life in Jesus Christ. That stone of sin and separation from God can only be removed by the power of God’s Word. These people who are still spiritually dead cannot see Jesus outside the cave. They cannot roll the stone away by themselves. You and I have been called by Jesus to share His life and His Word so that by the work of the Holy Spirit, these people awaken to the truth of salvation through Jesus, and step out into the new life in Him.
God has intended for our lives to glorify Him. We have been created to enjoy the fullness of God’s glory in our lives. And we have been called to unceasingly point others to God and His glory that they may come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Any moment you begin to doubt that you can enjoy the fullness of God or that you are able to share His Gospel with others, remember Jesus says in John 11:40, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?”
Join me in this prayer.
All praise and glory go out to You, O God. All that I am, all that I have and all that I do, are for Your glory. I live to praise Your Name and to see Your glory in my life. I live to point and lead others to see Your glory. Father, I put my all my trust and hope in You. By Your grace and power, I know that all my buried dreams can come alive when I believe. They are going to be become my powerful testimonies of Your resurrection power to let the world know You are our Almighty God. I commit to be Your faithful disciple to lead others to walk out of separation from You into an eternal relationship with You, our Heavenly Father. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”