“Take away the stone.”
“But, Lord, by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
“Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone, and Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
And the dead man came out. And Jesus said, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
I think this story from John 11 hits close to home for each of us because we all have at least some area of hurt, grief, or dysfunction in our lives. And although we hate the dysfunction, we often feel that it’s easier to keep it buried than to risk exposing it to Jesus. We fear the smell of it, and we fear the possibility that after exposing it nothing will actually change. But Jesus doesn’t see things the way we do. Where we see death—and think it should remain hidden and locked away—He sees potential life, and commands us to roll the stone away. Would you be willing to roll back your protective boulders and see if Lazarus might still have some life left in him? Would you take the risk to expose your greatest burden to the Lord, and, if appropriate, to a friend who will guard your back, and help you strip away your grave clothes? Life is waiting on the other side.