Jesus had a knack for putting the “fun” back into funeral. Three times before He disarmed death at His own resurrection, He showed up to someone else’s funeral and breathed life back into a dead body. One of my favorite stories of His infamous resuscitations is in John 11, when he shows up to His friend Lazarus’ wake. People are gathered to mourn his death, but Jesus makes the audacious claim that Lazarus isn’t dead; he’s dozing!
As He approaches the tomb, He makes an odd request to remove the stone. Rolling the stone away from Lazarus’ tomb would be like if you showed up to your friend’s grave four days after his casket had been buried, and asked the funeral director to unearth the casket!
John 11:41 says, “So they took the stone away…”
As the stone is rolled away, Jesus lifts His eyes and prays, then calls His previously dead friend, Lazarus, out of the grave…and Lazarus walks out!
It’s interesting that Jesus asked them to move the stone. If Jesus could raise the dead, He could have easily moved the stone without anyone’s help. But this is how God involves us in His miraculous works. He asks us to do the natural as a setup for Him to do the supernatural.
I don’t know who “they” are in John 11, but in our context, we are “they.” We are the stone rollers. Every day we have God-given opportunities to roll the stones, tear down the barriers, and remove the opposition so people can witness the resurrection power of Jesus. He does the saving and life-changing; we do the stone-rolling. Don’t wait for it to be something heroic or seemingly-superhuman. It may be as simple as praying for/with someone, discussing the Bible with them, or being at their bedside or their doorstep in a time of suffering.
God wants to demonstrate His resurrection power to people all around us this week, so, let’s pull a Ty Pennington and Roll! That! Stone!