Summary: Jesus wants us to roll away the stone of doubts and fear, then he will tear the veil that keeps us separated from Him, and then He will give us an open door into eternal life.
A Stone, A Veil and A Door
By Pastor Jim May
John 11:38-40, "Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 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. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"
What is the saddest place in the world? Where is it that all hope seems to fade away; where all of the unfulfilled dreams, and goals of a lifetime come to an end? What is the one thing in this life that represents the ultimate defeat? That place is the grave.
That’s where Lazarus lay. All hope for him had come to an end. There were those on the outside who mourned and cried but even for them hope had faded into despair.
Jesus groaned within himself because of the great love that He had for Mary and Martha, and those who were His friends. He felt their pain, their agony, their grief and their suffering and the flood of emotions that came over the man, Christ Jesus, brought him to tears and the scriptures say that “Jesus Wept”; not for Lazarus for he knew that Lazarus would soon rise again, but for those who were without hope and had lost faith.
Sometimes we are like Lazarus. He was locked away in a tomb that was a cave. He was bound up in grave cloths and everything that Lazarus was had come to an abrupt end. Now it was over for him. The stone had been sealed over his grave and there was no coming out unless some outside force would make it happen.
Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever felt that you had come to the end of you rope and that the knot was gone and the only thing left was a thin thread? Have you ever been in a place where your prayers seemed to go nowhere and where your faith was so very weak that you had a hard time believing for a mustard seed, much less to move the mountain that stood over you?
Jesus told Martha to move the stone. He didn’t tell Lazarus. Lazarus couldn’t do it for himself, he needed help. Lazarus’ faith was dead to this world. His body was dead to this world. His spirit was probably in Paradise, called Abraham’s Bosom. He couldn’t bring himself back at all.
Do you need someone to help you come out of your trial, your test, your sickness, your grief and your despair? It’s hard to have the faith for yourself sometimes isn’t it. Everyone believes in healing and deliverance until its them that needs healing and deliverance, then their faith is weaker.
That’s why Jesus called you and I to be a part of the Body of Christ. He called us to work together, to support one another and to pray one for another. How many times have I seen people in the church go through some hard times, sicknesses, etc., and never call upon me as their pastor, nor upon the elders of the church to pray for them. They are missing out on a great blessing and they are causing those of us who want to serve them to miss a blessing as well. Why belong to a church if you aren’t going to make use of the support that can be gained from it?
As a pastor, I am called to minister to this flock. Yet it seems that I’m the last one to learn anything. Maybe it’s because I haven’t shown or proven to you how much I love you in the Lord. I have prayed for God to allow me to have the same love for each of you that He does.
Sometimes you need your brother or sister in the Lord to pray with you and help you to roll away the stone. Sometimes you just need their help, their support, their understanding, to get over the really bad times.
Jesus told Martha to roll away the stone but she said, Lord he is really going to smell bad. Listen, I know that when faith is weak, and the devil has you down, and you can’t seem to lift your eyes toward Jesus, that your attitude and way of thinking will likely be wrong. You will probably have a little bit of stinking thinking going on and you may be all caught up in a pity party, but that’s all right. I’ll still pray for you, your church family won’t forget you, and Jesus is still right there to help you.