I was reading the account in John 11 about the death and resurrection of Lazarus. I’ve heard the story dozens of times before, but found something new in my reading tonight that I’d like to share with you. You’re no doubt familiar with the story. Lazarus falls ill, Jesus is called for but does not arrive in time to save him. Christ meets Martha and Mary and goes to Lazarus’s tomb where He asks for the stone to be rolled away. Martha questions this decision, citing that the body would have begun to smell after four days, but Jesus persists. In John 11:40, He replies to Martha’s objections with this reminder, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”
It is at that moment in the story that my imagination ran wild. Earlier, both Martha and Mary had declared boldly that Jesus would have prevented their brother’s death. Furthermore, it was Martha who confessed to Jesus that, “You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” Now Jesus has made a statement to her that had to rock her world. Why say what He just said, why move the stone if He wasn’t going to raise Lazarus from the dead? I am trying to place myself in her position, to imagine for a brief moment what hearing that statement must have felt like. Can you imagine the anticipation of knowing that Christ was about to do something so miraculous in her life? Maybe she didn’t put the pieces together, but I’d like to think that she knew at the moment that Christ would be bringing her dearly loved brother back from the dead. How amazing that must have felt!
And that got me to thinking, how is that feeling any different than the emotions that you or I might feel on a daily basis when Christ speaks over our lives, promising to do what He said He would do in our lives if we would only believe? You see, even though we are not mourning the loss of a recently departed loved one, we, like Martha and Mary cannot hide from God the true desires of our hearts. God knows these things and is ready to provide them to us as well, in both the natural and supernatural realms. How fortunate we are that He knows us so well, making it possible for us to believe, to confess, and to expect such great things. And so if Martha’s heart was filled with even a fraction of the joy that I feel about those things for which I am believing, confessing, and expecting from the Lord, I can say with all certainty that in fact, I do know what she was feeling at that amazing moment. And in faith, I know that you feel it too.
May God bless and keep you. May He fill your life with every gift that He has stored up for you so that you will know the same joy that filled Martha’s heart when He answered her prayers.