Jesus heard the cries of His dear friends Mary and Martha, along with their Jewish comforters, as they mourned the death of Lazarus. To Mary, He offered the right words to grow her faith. Yet, when Mary fell at His feet, deep compassion overcame Him. Today we come to the part in the story where Jesus took action. “Where have you laid him?” He asked. In this passage, there are three steps to a miracle; absolute trust in God, allowing Him room to work, and active participation.
Step One: Absolute Trust in God
Jesus, still groaning in his spirit, arrived at the tomb. “Take away the stone,” He said. Martha, however, expressed her concern. “Lord, he has been in there for four days. It is going to smell awful!” The teacher takes her back to their earlier discussion. “Did I not say to you that if you would believe, you would see the glory of God?” Martha, reeling emotionally, the stench of death in her nostrils, needed to hear the teacher’s reminder, “Did I not say?” The first step to the miracle demanded absolute trust in the word of God.
Step Two: Allowing Him Room to Work
The second step meant allowing Jesus room to work. It meant the stone had to be taken away. Despite the smell, the stone which kept Lazarus entombed, had to be removed. Next, Jesus lifted his eyes toward heaven, and prayed. He needed to elevate those around Him to the heavenly throne room. They needed to know and believe that God the Father had sent Him, and always heard His cries. Jesus offered His Father the gift of gratitude. It opened heaven and earth, touching the depth of God. Then He the Son of God, the resurrection and the life, cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!”
Step Three: Active Participation
The third step involved active participation. Lazarus had died. He had been in the tomb for four days. When he responded to the voice of Jesus, he came out stiff, in his grave clothes.
At this place in history, the Jews wrapped the deceased body before placing it a tomb. Lazarus came out the same way he had been put in, bound hands and feet, with a cloth about his face. “Loose him and let him go.” Jesus said. They were responsible to set him free! To remove the bands which kept him from living a new life, became their appointment.
In this passage there were three steps to the miracle; absolute trust in God, allowing Him room to work, and active participation.
How often do we pray for miracles? Do we desire the glory of God? Are we making room, clearing the way for Jesus to lead? As He leads, are we willing to follow? Will we unwrap those He has called to life, enabling each one to live, move and have their being in Him? Father God, empower us as the body of Christ!