Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” John 11:39-40.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God (אלהים) says:
Just remember this: I love you and I will never, NO never, leave you or forsake you.
He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you no not ever,” so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6.
I control the passageways of death.
And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” Revelation 1:17-18.
You can entrust your life to Me, even through the passageways of death. Why? Let Jesus tell you:
“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” John 11:25-26.
You can know without a doubt that you can cast your care upon Me and entrust your life to Me to raise you up from the grave.
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. Luke 23:46.
He entrusted Himself to Me in death, even though He died covered with your sins and He was not disappointed. I raised Him from the dead. And I raise you who believe in His resurrection and confess Him as Lord up with Him and seated you with Him in Heavenly places.
Cast your cares upon Me because I care for you and the biggest fear for many is death. They are just not sure of where they are going and what happens once they die.
Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. Hebrews 2:14-15.
But I am very clear about what happens and where you go and it is beyond all you can ask or imagine, for eye has not seen or ear heard or has it so much as entered the mind of man the great things I have prepared for you who love Me. But I share them with you by My Spirit. The Kingdom of Heaven surpasses all you can ask or imagine. It is magnificent and beautiful beyond what you perceive as beautiful now for what you see has been affected by the curse and corruption, but Heaven has not.
The sights, sounds and smells of My Kingdom are like nothing you have ever experienced here on earth. The entire atmosphere is love, love as real and tangible as the sun on your back on a cold day. And that envigorates and quciI showed them to My servant Paul and he wrote that he heard inexpressible words there that men are not allowed to speak and saw sights that are beyond what you can even think or imagine. It was a surpassing abundance of glory.
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
And it has pleased Me to give you who have taken Jesus as your Shepherd, the Kingdom even now. It is time you made use of all I have provided for you. It is time to stop worrying and start casting your care on Me.
And now let us look at how to cast your care even in the face of death. For even though you should walk through the dark valley of the shadow of death, I am walking you right through it to a table of abundance set out for you in the sight of your enemies, who will stumble and fall before you, and then right into My house forever, your place of abode.
Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.’” Ezekiel 37:13-14.
Now I will take you to an incident that brought a man out of the grave. Lazarus of Bethany, the brother of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed Jesus with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” Due to their close friendship with Jesus and knowing that He healed so many, they were sure He would come immediately.
But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” John 11:4. First words, that is, how you respond in a situation, are key to how it will turn out. Jesus saw this was an opportunity to do what I had sent Him for, that is, to undo the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8.
I take no glory in sickness and death, these are enemies I put under My Son’s feet, and consequently if you are seated with Him, your feet as well.
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. But Jesus did not panic or feel guilty to rush there, He sought My input and stayed two days longer in the place where He was to finish up His assignment there. The devil will try to distract you by things coming up all day to disrupt your schedule so that you are too busy for spending any time with Me but you do not really get any assignment done properly because you are constantly being scattered in may directions. It ends up being a busy but unfruitful day.
When Jesus knew it was the right time to go to Lazarus, He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?” They were not consulting Me but thinking as the world does. Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” Jesus was referring to redeeming your time in wisdom by walking in the light of the world, the light of a constant flow of knowing My Will so that you do not stumble in darkness. And how do you do that?
For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in the words he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. James 3:2.
You will note Jesus was very careful in what He said. He started out speaking of My glory manifesting in this and He is still staying in the light. No fear or worry about Lazarus, He already perceived a good and glorious result.
After that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.” The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” They were not speaking or thinking like Jesus. Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep. For those who love and believe in Me there is no death, you fall asleep to this world and wake in My presence in a whole new dimension of living.
I shall behold your face in righteousness, when I awake, your presence will fill me with joy. Psalm 17:15.
So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.” Jesus already saw a miracle ahead. Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.” Thomas was ready to follow Jesus no matter what. John 11:14-16.
When Jesus came to Bethany, He found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. But that did not cause him to draw back and falter. He went right on to meet Martha and Mary and Lazarus.
Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off; and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. Jesus did not come just to console but to do a work, an assignment that I have now also given to you.
And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. Matthew 10:7-8.
Martha, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house. Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Martha, like so many, put off what Jesus was telling her she could have now as an event in the future but not one that could happen now if she took it by faith in Jesus’ prophetic Word from Me. So Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.” John 11:20-27.
Martha believed but not for now. You will see this when she argued with Jesus about rolling the stone back from the tomb.
When she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.” And when she heard it, she got up quickly and was coming to Him. John 11:28-29. Siblings calling each other to Me is a wonderful thing. Acting as one with Me. And each one responding.
Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him. He was intending to go first to the tomb. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” Now you have Jesus in you, your hope of glory, and He is with you wherever you are all the time. He is with you always to perform miracles of healing for you and through you. He told you to cast out demons in His Name and to lay your hands on the sick, so that through your hand I can stretch out My hand to heal and raise from the dead.
And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and [w]signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:29-31.
When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?”
Why did Jesus weep? At the death Adam had unleased by his sin, but here it is deeper. If you remember the lack of faith, and in fact the stance against healing that the priests and Pharisees took grieved Jesus. Here they are accusing Him of not healing Lazarus. Here they are all standing around weeping and no one has stepped up in faith to raise Lazarus from the dead.
So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, for the people who should have known Him, His own covenant people, did not know Him or trust in His ability in Me to do the impossible.
So He came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus was determined to do My Will, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, who had just professed her belief that He was the resurrection and the life, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.” But Jesus had the answer, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” The first thing He had told her when He arrived was, “Your brother will rise again.”
So they removed the stone. Now pay attention to what Jesus said, it was a matter of life and death.
Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” John 11:41-42.
He is casting the care on Me and thanking Me in advance. He is basing it on the Word I gave Him that He declared when they first told Him Lazarus was sick. Do you remember His first Words to Me?
“This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” John 11:4.
First words matter, when spoken in faith they determine the outcome.
Once handing it over to Me with thanksgiving and praise in confident faith, and putting Me in remembrance of the Word I gave Him, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.” He pulled the answer in the Spirit realm into the physical realm when He released it by speaking it into the earth. And what happened? I control the passageways of death. Lazarus, who had died, came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Untie him, and let him go.”
Jesus had just undone what the devil did. He untied the works of the devil and let Lazarus loose to return to finish his assignment on the earth for a full reward.
And many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him. But there others did not, there are, even now, those who will not believe, even if one rises from the dead. And these went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done, which made them plot to kill Jesus and Lazarus.
Do you see the sequence again: refusing to fear, casting the care on Me, getting the Word from Me, and then going out and facing the enemy as you enforce the Word with thanksgiving and praise. And you get the miraculous result.
I love you. Follow Jesus and every tragedy will end in a miracle. And Lazarus, Martha, and Mary had a big banquet celebration after that. And so will you. I set a table of plenty before you in the sight of your foes.