“Deeply moved again, Jesus went to the tomb.
It was a cave with a stone covering the entrance.
‘Take the stone away.’”
There was a dead person behind that stone…a dear friend. Jesus cared deeply…He wept. But He also saw life for the dead one lying behind that stone. And He was the One who could bring life again.
I think we’ve all probably experienced a major stone in life. We’ve gone through something that caused a part of our heart to die. We couldn’t fix it. We couldn’t heal it ourselves. So we sealed it up and pushed a big old stone in its way, so that we wouldn’t have to see it, or feel the pain again. We had to move on with life, somehow.
But there is One who knew not only of the “death” we experienced, but grieved with us. Although He could have stepped in and prevented it, or “fixed it” before it was too late, He didn’t.
He allowed it to play out in our lives. And He grieved with us.
But, as in this story of the death of His friend Lazarus, it wasn’t the end of the story. Although it seemed to be the end, seemed to be too late…it wasn’t. He came. He grieved along with those who had suffered such a great loss. He spoke words of love, kindness, and understanding. And He wept.
But then, He gave a directive to “move the stone” that stood between those who were grieving the death, and the death itself. It couldn’t have been easy. Those big old tomb stones weren’t meant to be moved. They were meant to be a permanent seal to prevent anyone from passing into the place of death. The idea of the dead one ever coming out was not even a thought.
We all have experienced “death” . . . whether of a loved one or of places in our own hearts that were too painful to bear. In our attempts to protect ourselves from the loss, the pain, and the finality, we have sealed up that big old open wound with a stone that will be quite impossible for us to move on our own.
There is only One who can command the stone to be moved. Only One has the Love and Power to bring Life out of the decaying remains of Death. Only One has Heaven’s Authority to regenerate a dead heart . . . and to create a new heart in the human life. Only One can give a dead soul, new Life. Hope. Peace. And even Joy. He experienced the sadness that makes us weep. He experienced death itself.
Whatever “stone” has come to your heart is not too much for Him. He may pull in others to help with moving that stone. But He is right there, and is the One Who can bring new life that awaits on the other side of that stone.