“‘Take away the stone,’ he said. “‘But, Lord,’ said Martha, the sister of the dead man, ‘by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.’”
– John 11:39-40
The times dictate that our constant source of reference is COVID-19, and hourly into daily, new revelations as to the deathly course and affliction it is globally taking, becomes “breaking news”. As a result, medical labs are becoming as speedways, and scientists as race course drivers to see who would be the first to cross the finish line with a vaccine to combat this pandemic. Here, in our country of a population of less than 500,000, the rise in those testing positive and the number of deaths is national cause for concern.
But during this time of testing, crisis and uncertainty, wisdom must be our combat word. We have been having a series of lockdowns and curfews so as to lessen the spread. The lyrics to a Sunday school song we learned were, “Read your Bible, pray every day, if you want to grow, grow, grow.” The song for the pandemic is, “Wear your mask, wash your hands, social distance six feet away, if you want to live, live, live.”
Many are very unhappy with curfews and lockdowns, but I am experiencing more than CNN’s 30 seconds of calm, but hours upon hours of calm. Be that as it may, there are reports and yes, sad and tragic, because matters and situations that are “dead” are being forced to resurrect.
Yes, there are lockdowns, but tempers, arguments, disagreements, envy and strife are as loose as a goose. Instances of love that were once the glue to marital bliss are being displaced with hate and displeasure. In many cases, young people are aloof to law and order and parental guidance. This time of pandemic is for the resurrection of all that has been dead to us socially, educationally, physically, morally and spiritually as a people.
Our text today is about the well-known story of a family of three siblings – Mary, Martha and Lazarus, the only male. This was a loving family and Jesus was their friend and many times ate and spent time at their home. One day, Lazarus took sick and his sisters sent word to Jesus with the expectation that he would come ASAP, but in the meantime, Lazarus died.
When Jesus finally came four days after the burial, he was rebuked by Martha for his delay in coming when he was sent for. Jesus asked to be taken to the grave site and wept, as he loved Lazarus. Jesus asked that the stone at the mouth of the grave be taken away and Martha reminded Jesus that four days after burial, the body was in decomposition and was stinking. Jesus said to Martha that if she would believe, she would behold the glory of God.
Praying to his father, he then called Lazarus by his name and demanded that he come forth from the grave. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, “Loose him and let him go.”
Today, in the midst of this pandemic, what is it in your life that is dead and creating unpleasantness?
What is the situation that is dead and you are battling in vain for the resurrection of life?
Who are you putting your trust in?
Are you spending funds with the woman at Endor or filled with the spirit of merriment?
During this time, Jesus is the only one who can roll away stones of your disappointments, resurrect dead situations and restore vitality to your aspirations, dreams and desires. Believe and receive the vaccine for your soul’s salvation.