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The Stone Rollers

Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” … So they removed the stone. Jesus looked up and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. I know you always hear me. I say this for the benefit of the crowd standing here so that they will believe that you sent me.” Having said this, Jesus shouted with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his feet bound and his hands tied, and his face covered with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” John 11:39-44 CEB

Word got to Jesus that Lazarus, Mary and Martha’s brother, lay dying in the town of Bethany, not too far away, about 30 miles from where Jesus had retreated. By the time, Jesus gets there, Lazarus had died of his illness and had been buried in the tomb for four days. When he does arrive, Jesus startles Martha by saying that their brother Lazarus will rise again. By this time, Martha is not even sure that she wants her brother back. Lazarus has been dead for four days. By this time, her hope and trust in Jesus has turned into hesitancy, discouragement, and cynicism. Yet Jesus commands that the stones, that were laid across the entrance to the tomb be rolled away.

We don’t know who the stone-rollers were. Scripture only refers to them as “they.” “So they took away the stone.” Once the stone was rolled away, everyone could see, could experience the glory of God, that Lazarus was alive. They see the glory of God revealed. They see for themselves that power of God’s love, grace, and mercy that extends beyond the laws of our natural world.

We all need stone-rollers in our lives. Those who help us out of the depths, the despair, the “tombs’ of their lives. In our lives when we are so filled with doubt, despair, discouragement, hopelessness, we need those persons that roll the stones away in our spirits so that we can see the presence of Christ in our lives, when we are unable to see it ourselves. When we often cannot do so ourselves, we need the stone-rollers in our lives.

The stone-rollers in our lives are those that are willing to step in for us to challenge us in our crisis to move the stones that hinder our view of Christ, when sometimes we are not sure we want to move the stones. We all need stone-rollers in our lives. Or to be one for someone else.


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