Originally published Wednesday, 05 August 2015.
She’s crying. A beloved brother dead. Lazarus buried. Grief overwhelms. But there is hope. A conversation with Jesus. He is the Resurrection and the Life. The revelation settles in her heart and faith is stirred. She believes. A miracle awaits.
“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (John 11:21-27)
Yet somehow, so quickly, after the word - the promise from Jesus, the faith, the hope is gone again. Her eyes are not on Jesus, but on the tomb. She sees the physical evidence that her brother is dead. The facts that say it’s over. The stench, the dead body overwhelms. Tears come. Grief returns.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.” (John 11:39)
A tomb is not the place for miracles.
Or is it?
Sometimes we are in no man's land. Between the word and its fulfilment. Our faith wavers. Our eyes are pulled towards the physical, the natural realm and our perceived reality of truth. We see our impossible situation. Our dreams, our hopes are dead. We take our eyes off Jesus and see the storm, the waves, we see the earthly reality. Our faith shatters. We can see only the tomb. Our feet slip beneath the waves.
We lose sight of our promised miracle and our answer to prayer. We lose sight of Jesus.
But God is faithful and true to His promises.
“For all the promises of God in Him are yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God by us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. (John 11:43-44)
Soon there would be another tomb. And soon another Resurrection. And this one would eternally prove that Jesus, the tomb raider, is the Risen Lord. He can breathe life on our dead dreams, restore and heal. He can give us hope where we had none. And He can give us life when we think there is only death.