by Christina Farris
19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.
29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.
30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.
47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.
48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.
49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;
52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.Come forth from the grave. how often we remain in the tomb of our sins. How often we remain in our guilt and our pain, only to realize to have victory we must raise above our sin, above our failings, above our situation. Jesus sees Martha first the sister of Lazarus who was dead. Martha said if you been here my brother would not have died. If you been here when I needed you, my brother who I need would still be here. How often many times do we try and put Jesus on the shelf only to realize if he been here nothing bad would have happened or the person we desired to be still be with us would still be here. The realization that if Jesus was still here things would be different. Our error is not seeing Jesus still with us, that though things happen does not mean deliverance of our situation can not occur. Our hope is not gone. And Martha understood her brother could still be resurrected, but her view is in time to come, not in the present. Our view of death is often in the present and future hope of a resurrection to see our love one's again and not hope of the current ability of a resurrection. I often wonder in the past few years of if Christ parted those eastern sky, how many people would say give me a minute Lord, the time is not now is it? It like telling my husband the oven about to go off, he needs to go check it before it burns, only for him to say the timer will go off when it is done, and when it does, he discover whatever was cooking is now black. Yep a minute more and dinner is now destroyed. Martha seeing the hope afar off to her brother resurrection, not the hope of now. Yet Christ speaks of the hope of now as well as afar off.
Mary was crying and heard Jesus was here, and she went to see him, only to fall at his feet and say if you been here my brother be still alive. How often we see the death and not life in a person after death. Yet the truth of the matter Mary was grieving greatly and Jesus wept too. The people seen how much Christ loved Lazarus. A person ask if he can heal the blind and make the lame well can he not raise the dead. Then Jesus groaned. Why is Jesus truly groaning, he knows this is the begining of the pain of him going to his own cross and resurrection. Lazarus death and resurrection is a time of forerunning before Christ. The ability of Lazarus resurrection seen so Christ resurrection and ability is now forecasted among the people.
Jesus ask them to roll away the stone, only to be greeted with the words of lazarus will stink. He is dead. The ability realized in the crowd had not reach the ears apparently of Martha, nor was her faith such to believe Lazarus would not stink after four days. Yet she tells them to roll away the stone. To see a person rise from their sin, or above who one use to be, is something we must realize can happen in life. The power of the resurrection is a gift of God and God alone. Doctors may bring back the dead, but not after four days. That was one day longer then Christ was in his own tomb, when Lazarus came forth from his tomb. The ability to over come death. The ability to over come sin of this world and becoming a person of honor is not always seen by those who only remember the fault of those before them. Lazarus not in his ability was coming forth from the grave, by the power of God in Christ to raise him up. We can not overcome our sin, unless God raises us up and delivers us.
The death and resurrection of Jesus represents how our sin is buried and we are risen to a new life in Christ Jesus upon belief and repentance of sin. The old gone the new has begun. If Christ can raised the dead, can he not forgive sin? If Christ can raise the dead, can He not remove our sin. If Christ can raise the dead, can he not make our own life whole again. If Christ can raise the dead, can he he not deliver us from evil. Our mindset is we can not change our situation sometimes, and truth many times we can not change the situation ourselves, God has to do it. As I sit thinking of my own situation, and I realize God will be doing the moving of my own mountain. He will be moving the moutain I can not change, but only he can. Jesus often sees our journey only for us discover we need a anchor hold in the clef of the rock that he shelters us in. We fail to see the need for the rope to propel upward. Yes, upward. We are not travel in the valley, we trying to climb upward to heaven and can not on our own, but must allow God to pull the ropes of our climb to the top. The valley is much easier to walk through, it has only a few sink holes and pot holes to worry about and maybe a stepping stone or too and a creek to cross, but that is why trees are chopped down to make a raft and bridges are built so the pathway can be walked upon. The mountainside is much harder, you can't build a bridge or raft, you need a ladder. The ladder will it is much harder to climb when the hill is straight upward. I climbed a ladder once in a church that went to a loft where the pipes for the organ in the sanctuary were kept. How the pipe organ made beautiful music when heard from the bottom of the sanctuary. The fear of falling from the ladder held me in place. I could not move from the ladder to the loft itself out of fear. Yet I knew what I seen was the inner workings of the organ not seen by many below. Yes it was a thrill for us children that climb that ladder, but it was also scary feeling to climb because of the height. Only three climbed out of 20 children. it was probably about 100 ft ladder, straight up and down. The point being we are often afraid to climb the ladder of life and also afraid to let go because of falling.
The point is if we let go we have failed, our Savior, If we hold on we have to figure how to take the next step, though it only a moving one foot upward at a time. Sometimes we feel if it is easier to take two steps back then move upward and onward. Yet if we are going to climb toward heavens gate, we must be willing to follow after Christ, and allow him not only to provide the safety rope, but the ladder rungs that stablize our feet. Mary and Martha knew of the resurrection, their faith was still afar off. Martha not ready for the resurrection experience that day, and Mary to upset to think of the possibility, yet their friends knew Christ ability already and those who did not were fixing to know for themselves. And many who had not believed received Christ that day as Lord and bowed and worshipped him, while others went to tell the priesthood what they saw and could not believe. The power of God had risen Lazarus through this prophet is what they said, they did not see Jesus as the Messiah, because they had no faith. The priesthood could not believe in power of God to work through a man named Jesus, so they began their evil plot to destroy him.
How often people will plot against you to force you into temptation, instead of helping you rise above your situation. One can rest assured there will be another day if you believe in Jesus, one can rest assured you will rise above the old life to a better way by Christ ability and not your own if you trust in him. God allows people to think they can do it own their own, so when a situation or crisis is met that they can not change themselves they can see the power of the Lord. The impossible situation of Mary and Martha only seen through the eyes of their friends when Jesus was present. If you see a lost soul, you know their hope can be found in Jesus. If you see a person hurting you can see the need of Jesus. Yet one's own ability to reach up and claim God's ability to change the situation is often not with the ability to grab hold. We need someone to remind us of the ability, we need to know our hope is not gone, that we must press through by trusting in Christ Jesus ability and not our own. When we are moved into action by having the stone rolled away, then we can walk out of the tomb and see the hope of the future coming forth. Christ coming forth from the grave help the apostle know their own sacrifice would lead to better hope of a better tomorrow. Our own sacrifice for faith is only a testimony of hope to come for all that will receive Jesus. Yet our power is not God, nor ability being God, but God working through us. Christ power was his own by His word alone. Our power to forgive others and then to also forgive ourselves is often only realized through the cross of Christ and His willingness to forgive us. Let us hold to the ladder rungs, and the anchor holds in the clef of the mountainside that God covers us when we need His hope to shine in the mist of the rocks. Moses only see the back of God and God moving ahead of him as he scaled the clef he was on. He was hidden by the hand of God to prevent him from seeing the face of God.
We need God's covering the blood of Christ, we need the ability to raise forth from the tomb of our own grief of our sins. You hold a person in their grief to long they can not rise up into the beauty of faith and hope. You see a druggie who wants to over come, but those around him only see his past. That is not building that person up, it only destroying what they may become. I am glad I have not had addiction to drugs or alcohol, through I know the addiction to crave medication, can also be as big as a threat to one's life as drug habits of our youth to achieve a high to deal with the pain of life. No drug but Jesus can take away the pain of one's situation. Christ is the only one that can give you everlasting hope. Hold to faith, not to the things that tear you down, but hold on to Jesus. Those ladder rungs in the clef is there to help you, and the rope is to keep your feet from slipping. For Christ is able to keep you from falling.
Who was around Mary and Martha, but their friends of faith in Christ and those who knew them but lacked faith as well Mary and Martha had hope, but not the realization of the possibility, without the possibility there is no hope. Come forth out of tomb of sin, come forth out of tomb of impossibility and into possibility of a better way through Christ Jesus. He is our hope today and forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, bring forth that hope and protection, possiblity seen through Christ. You are our only hope for you have provide the way. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Thanksgiving Day Countdown: Day 17: Thank you for providing the way of salvation through Christ Jesus, our eternal hope.
Continual Scripture Study for Devotion:1 Peter 5:6-11 KJV
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.