(This is a polished Petoskey stone found only in Northern Michigan near and around Lake Michigan)

LAZARUS AND THE STONE

In John Chapter 11 we find the miracle of Lazarus being raised from the dead even after being dead and encased in a tomb behind a huge stone.  In the first part of the chapterwe find that a man name Lazarus whom Jesus loved as well as his two sisters, Martha and Mary.   

Even though Jesus got the word that Lazarus was sick, he remained where he was ministering two more days.  Then He decided to return to Judea against the threat of the Jews who had tried to stone Him.  In the dialog with His disciples, He told them that Lazarus was sleeping and that He needed to wake Him.  He was really saying that Lazarus had died. 

When they arrive in Bethany, Martha in verse 22 made a statement of faith.  She declared that whatever Jesus asked of God, God would give Him.  Then Jesus tells her that Lazarus would rise again because He said “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in Him though he may die, he shall live.”  (Verse 25) 

There is more conversation between Jesus and Lazarus’ sisters before they went to the tomb.  Verse 35 has been called the shortest verse in the Bible.  Jesus wept.  At that point, the crowd who had joined them said that Jesus really loved Lazarus and questioned why He couldn’t have kept him from dying. 

In verse 38 we find Jesus groaning in Himself.  I used to think we was grieving because Lazarus had died.  But now I see that the word for groaning really renders itself as strength. The word is used to express anger or deep feeling.  Perhaps He was grieving over the unbelief of the people even though they had seen the miracles. He knew that Lazarus would rise from the dead when He called Him forth.

In verse 39 Jesus tells them to take away the stone.  I believe that Jesus could have called out and Lazarus could have come through the stone.  So because of the response of Martha about the stench and being dead four days, I wonder if the significance of removing the stone was to remove any hindrance that blocked their belief in what Jesus had previously told them.

In verse 40 Jesus says, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”  As they removed the stone Jesus lifted up His eyes and thanked the Father for hearing Him and that He knew that He always heard the Son.  Then He says that He said that for those standing there to hear it and that they would believe that the Father had sent Him.  Jesus wants us to know who He is and that He had been sent by the Father. 

Then amazingly, He didn’t ask God to raise Lazarus, He cried with a loud voice for Lazarus to come forth.  So out comes Lazarus bound up with grave cloths and Jesus told the people to lose him and let him go. 

This is what this speaks to me.  First, there may be a stone that is blocking the way for a miracle.  It is evident that Jesus recognized their unbelief that He could raise Lazarus even though He told them that God would be glorified.  Secondly, He said that the Father always hears Him.  We believe that God sent His Son, but do we believe that the Father always hears us?

Thirdly, are we in intimate relationship with Abba where we hear His Voice like Jesus did?  Jesus didn’t ask the Father to call Lazarus, He himself with His oneness to His Father used the authority of Heaven and called Lazarus to come forth. 

We have been given the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead within our mortal body and have the authority of His Name to do the will of the Father so that He will be glorified.  So it seems like we should all seek Abba to see if there are any stones of unbelief hindering the signs and wonders that are to follow us.  Then when the stones are rolled away, I believe we will encounter Heaven Right Here Right Now

~~~~From my Heartto yours~~~~Andrea