Mourning to Mayhem
Mayhem to Miracle
By Blesson Selvanesan
The Word: 38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John 11:38–44 (ESV)
Jesus loved this family and they adored Him. It’s hard to imagine a friend like Jesus would not come to attend the funeral of Lazarus. Lazarus and his sisters have heard about Jesus’s ministry and how He healed the blind, cleansed the lepers and made the lame walk. Lazarus and his sisters must have been anxiously waiting to see if Jesus would come and heal. Jesus stayed where he was and let Lazarus die. They finished all the last rites for their brother and continued to grieve along with the villagers. Mary and Martha were heartbroken and despondent. Jesus, showed up late but did the unthinkable. He asked them to open the grave. With one loud call to the dead Lazarus as he always did when he was living, Jesus called out, Lazarus, come out. His voice woke dead Lazarus up! What was considered the end became the beginning and Jesus killed the death by just a call.
Martha was an analytical follower, Mary was an emotional follower, people around them were participative followers, Thomas was a fatalistic follower and, not to forget all the naysayers and skeptical observers. And finally the resurrected Lazarus was an experiential follower.
As we read this miraculous incident plenty of questions pop into our minds and of course all these thoughts and questions would have come into their minds too. Did Jesus really love this family? Why did He let Lazarus become sick? Why did Lazarus die? Why did Jesus wait for four more days? Why did Jesus tell them to open the grave? Why did Jesus pray a strange prayer? Why did Jesus ask people to unbind Lazarus when he came out? And then there were all kinds of people as we see in our society today. Martha was an analytical follower, Mary was an emotional follower, people around them were participative followers, Thomas was a fatalistic follower and, not to forget all the naysayers and skeptical observers. And finally the resurrected Lazarus was an experiential follower.
It’s fascinating how Jesus through this one event addressed all the questions and addressed to everyone’s need. Jesus loved the family enough that he wept, He let Lazarus become sick and die to experience the fallen nature of world. Jesus waited four more days for the mayhem to be over and everyone to assume that all is over! Jesus could have called Lazarus without opening the tomb, tomb would have opened by itself, still he asked people to participate and experience the miracle that was about to happen. Jesus prayed to demonstrate that He was indeed the Son of God. He also asked people to unbind Lazarus as they were the one who bound him in the first place. Jesus was in essence saying…Did you not touch and feel while binding that cold body, now touch and feel the warmth of life that has been bestowed upon Lazarus. Thomas said let us go so that we may die but Jesus showed him what life really is. Now, will Thomas be ever afraid of death? Will Lazarus be afraid of death? What an incredible turn around; from wailing to worship, death to life, mayhem to miracle.
Application: Nothing is over until God says it’s over! If you are asking for healing, God is willing to give you a resurrection. He is willing and able to give above and beyond what we can ever imagine. There is nothing that is hopeless! Walk boldly, Take Him to the grave, open the tomb so that He may breathe life. Let the dead come back to life.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for who you are. You can make defeat into a triumph and turn death to life. Turn our tides and give us victory today. Let the dead come back to life today and I am ready to receive a miracle today. In Jesus Name. Amen.