by Rev Robert A Wendel
“The Jews said, “Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man. Could he not have presented Lazarus’ death?” When Jesus reached the tomb he said “Take away the stone !” He told Martha “Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:36, 39-40, TNJB).
Death is usually the last thing we want to talk about. It makes us feel uncomfortable. In spite of all of our medical advances, we haven’t been able to conquer it. We may be able to postpone it. We may tame its violence but death is still there waiting for us. Death spares no one. Our human perspective focuses on our immediate welfare instead of God’s glory.
Martha needed to know that Jesus was in control. He is in control-and he cares. Jesus instructs the onlookers: “Remove the stone.” (v.39a). Just before ‘calling for Lazarus’, Jesus replies, “Martha, did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the wonder of what God can do?”(Phillips).
Our faith should be the marker for everything in our lives. Not just for salvation but every prayer and action. Like Martha, we know all the right words to say and all the proper Christian moves to make. But, is our faith alive? The last great test is death. Faith dreams that God will stand by us.
In his book Moments with Majesty, Jay Hayford wrote .”I live in the hope of the resurrection without fear of death and without bondage to the endless grieving of those who have no such hope.”
If you follow Jesus long enough, you are going to experience the miraculous. You are going to do what he did. You are going to wash some feet and welcome the stranger. You are going to care for the poor. As a catalyst along the way you are going to offend some stiff-necked Pharisees. Whose stone will you roll away?
Thanks to everyone who prepared and donation to our Lenten Lunch to support Southern WV Hospice. Our ABC Men’s Saturday breakfast returns to First Baptist at 8:00 am on Saturday, March 12th. Frank Miller, Director of the Parchment Valley Training Center, will offer the day’s devotions. Gentlemen, please join us.