Home Features Lessons From the Lazarus Narrative (Part 6) By Babatunde Olugboji

Lessons From the Lazarus Narrative (Part 6) By Babatunde Olugboji


Lessons From the Lazarus Narrative (Part 6) By Babatunde Olugboji

This week, we will conclude our long running series on the miracle at Bethany in John 11. 

Jesus arrived at the home of Lazarus, Martha and Mary, four days after Lazarus had died. He got to the tomb and asked them to roll away the stone covering the tomb.

Rolling the stone away is an intentional act. Jesus is telling someone today, it is time to roll away the stone of doubt, fear, and anxiety. Who told you that God wouldn’t deliver you, that your burden is too heavy for Jesus to bear, that your child has irretrievably fallen into the hands of the devil, that your marriage is too close to the edge that God is unable to turn it around. Even in the stench of death, trauma, divorces, bankruptcy, or confusion, God is still God. I don’t know anybody else who can walk through the stinking stuff and still remain Holy. Lazarus was dead and stinking, yet Jesus went to the place that stank.  

Jesus deliberately waited to bring Lazarus back from the dead until he had been in the tomb 4 days. Tradition in those days says grief reaches its height on the 3rd day; that for 3 days the spirit hovers over the tomb, if perchance it may return to the body. But by the 4th day, the spirit retires and abandons the body. Jesus waited to confound the custodians of tradition by showing up on the 4th day. They rolled the stone away and Jesus praised His Father and yelled Lazarus’ name. He wanted to show us the importance of thanksgiving. To let us know that thanksgiving gives us access to resurrection power.

Jesus could have raised Lazarus without shouting his name, but He did so for 2 reasons 1) for the benefit of doubters, and 2) if He didn’t yell his name, every dead people could have risen, which meant this particular miracle was only for Lazarus. What God has for you is for you only.

If God had given you that breakthrough sooner or quicker your enemies wouldn’t have witnessed it. He waited until everyone who criticized you would be able to see your deliverance. He waited to set a table before you so that both your friends and enemies can see the table of good things. At your lowest, God will be your hope, at your darkest, He will lighten your path, at your weakest, He will be your strength, at your saddest, He will be your comforter.

As Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out, the dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go,” I declare this week; you are coming out of shame.

As we end this series, let me point out the simple but profound Jesus formular. Thanksgiving. Jesus often lifted up his eyes and thanked His Father before doing profound miracles. That was what He did before the feeding of the 5,000, and before sharing wine and bread at the Passover.                                          

I pray that every dead thing in your situation would receive life, just like Lazarus received life.

Have a great week.

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