Dave, the stone and Jesus.
John 11 v 38-42 “Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said.”
Nobody had ever said such a thing.
It was unacceptable.
The power in Jesus to command it was the same power that would roll the stone away when he was behind it.
That stone says: You will never do anything again. You will never recover. You will always remember what you once had is gone.
Jesus said, ‘Take it away’.
“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.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
Removing the stone was for the purpose that the people may believe in who he is, the Messiah, the sent One.
This of course furthered the desire of his opponents wanting rid of him.
It’s amazing how your belief in another’s resurrection can lead to the attack on your own life.
It’s not unusual for people to hold to some sort of life after death.
But the offence comes when Jesus is involved.
To think that it is Jesus who commands the stone to be taken away; that it is Jesus who brings people from their death into eternal life; to think that Jesus rose again, well this is just offensive to some.
When the Apostle Paul said, ““It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.”’ (Acts 24:21) it was because of his belief in Jesus.
It is what unites and divides. It isn’t the stone, it is Jesus.
This one thing, the resurrection of Jesus, is not only the foundation of our faith but the true essence and meaning for our faith.
If Jesus Christ was not raised then he lied about his own resurrection (Mark 9:31).
If Jesus Christ was not raised then the cross has no power to save (1 Corinthians 15:3).
If Jesus Christ was not raised then God who raises the dead has not vindicated him (1 Corinthians 15:20).
If Jesus Christ was not raised then sin and death cannot be defeated (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).
If Jesus Christ was not raised then there is no new life in God now (Romans 6:4).
And even more importantly as we face a new chapter of life without our loved one:
If Jesus Christ was not raised then there is no hope that anyone be raised (1 Corinthians 15:18-19).
“Take away the stone” and “that they may believe that you sent me” are linked.
Take away the stone and roll away the stone are linked.
The resurrection of Lazarus and the resurrection of Jesus are linked.
Dave Ayling is resurrected and alive and in his eternal home today only because Jesus raised him to new life and brought him to that place.
Dave the stone and Jesus.
It was my tomb; ‘Til I met You
It was my tomb; ‘Til I met You
You called my name; Then I ran out of that grave; Out of the darkness
Out of the darkness; Into Your glorious day.
A few days ago, Jesus commanded the stone of death to be removed and Dave went running to Jesus. It will happen to us too. We all go the same way. But whether that stone is removed is dependent on whether you believe on Jesus being the One who was sent to make all this possible.