“Take away the stone,” Jesus commanded. The barrier that kept wild animals away from Lazarus’ corpse also sealed his body in that place of death. Let’s go over our section once more …
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead
38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
Don’t you just love the unembellished logic of Martha? When Jesus says, “Take away the stone,” she replies, “Uh, Lord, you might need to hold your nose. There’s going to be a four-day-old stench!”
I’m told there is almost nothing that reeks as badly as a dead human body. But Jesus’ response to Martha’s warning is a mild rebuke: “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (v. 4). The glory of God! A divine promise — with a condition: “if you believe.”
What nature and sin had taken Jesus was going to restore — to the glory of God. A glory that could be seen. Don’t you wish you had been there? (to be continued)