According to the book, “The New Manners and Customs of the Bible”, upon a death, there were certain Rabbinical procedures that took place. Of those steps, there were to be three days of weeping followed by four days of lamentation (or sorrow). These two events together comprised the seven days of mourning that the Jews observed.
Again, according to this book, during the first three days, rabbinical thought suggested that the spirit of the deceased would wander about the sepulcher seeking an opportunity to return to the body. Friends of the deceased would visit the sepulcher for three days, likely to be close to the deceased. However, on the fourth day, when decomposition took hold, the spirit would wander no more and the faithful friends who had been visitors to the grave would grieve loudly.
Now, you may wonder why I bring this up. And here’s the reason. When we look at John 11 and read the story of Lazarus’ death, we find out that although Jesus received the news of Lazarus’ illness, he tarried. He didn’t rush to be with the family. He instead delayed his trip. Was he being harsh? NO. Absolutely not. He knew what He was doing. He was always in control.
When Jesus gets to Bethany, Lazarus had been dead four days. Ah, now, you’re following me, right? And it would seem to those looking on the outside that there would be no way, now that the body of Lazarus has entered into the decomposition phase, to return him to life. According to Rabbinical beliefs, his spirit has “left the building” and is no longer wandering about the sepulcher. His spirit has left the grave site and is no longer seeking a way to return to the body. The friends and family would not be expecting to see Lazarus again. Instead, according to “The New Manners and Customs of the Bible”, these friends and family would have now moved to the point of lamentation. Yet, here stands Jesus with a declaration “Thy brother shall rise again.” (John 11:23)
And then He goes on to say that He is the resurrection and the life. He has the power to resurrect the dead things in our lives, no matter how dead they look. Lazarus had been dead four days, yet when Jesus cried out with a loud voice “Lazarus, come forth” (KJV), he came forth, still bound in his grave clothes.And when Jesus gave the command for the garments to “loose him, and let him go”, they did just that. (John 11:44)
There is nothing going on in our lives that is too hard for God. There is nothing going on in our lives that He cannot remedy. But we first have to come to accept Him as our Lord. Many of the Jews that were with Mary, having witnessed this miracle, believed in Jesus.
We may never see the dead rise or any miracle that is as awe-inspiring, but we have the Holy Bible and the promises of God to remind us of just how powerful He is. So, don’t sit down and give up when a situation looks hard, difficult or dead. Instead, send your petition to Jesus on your knees. He will get the message. And when He is ready, in His own time, He will come with your deliverance, just like He did with Lazarus. He will bring forth your answer and He stands ready to breath new life into your situation.
Hold your head up now and look to God. He knows and He cares. He has not left you alone in that situation. Whether you’ve been going through it four minutes, four hours, four days or forever (it seems), know that God is not late. He’s going to be there, right on time.
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