In Sunday’s Gospel, as we heard the story of raising Lazarus from the dead, we are told to remove the stone or open the tomb. Yes, Jesus is telling us to open the tomb!
When Jesus was asking Martha to “Open the tomb,” He was speaking to us also. And, her reply is ours too. “Lord, there will be a stench.”
Daily, Jesus calls us to “Open the tomb of our heart.”
Due to the traumas and painful events of our lives –our minds may have buried deeply what we no longer want to see. However to be set free, delivered from or resurrected from a ‘dead’ spirit ---we need to be willing to open the tombs of the past for healing to begin. We must admit to the truth of what is buried within.
We may say we have forgotten, forgiven and let go of this past ---put here is the litmus test to this truth or denial. Martha said to Jesus---“Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
Is she suppressing anger? Are we suppressing anger –wondering why God allowed terrible events to happen in our lives? Why did this happen to me? Why did this loved one die so unexpectantly? Why did disease slowly kill them and cause such pain? Why did a fire, a flood, a tornado, an accident happen? WHERE WERE YOU GOD, when molestation, abuse, rape, assault, ---where were You when this happened?
God reassures us “I Am with You always.” He also asks us to trust and believe in Him. Do we? To live life now and live it abundantly, resurrected from the past mistakes and sinfulness of others—like Martha we must face what do I truly believe? What do I truly believe about God and what do I truly believe about myself. We must as ourselves, “do I truly have faith and trust in God enough to surrender my will and life to His plans and will for me?”
Like Martha, we must be willing to face the stench of the past and allow God to open the tombs of lies dead within. We also must be willing to face the truth about what we believe.
From John 11, we read.
When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus
had already been in the tomb for four days.
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming,
she went to meet him;
but Mary sat at home.
Martha said to Jesus,
"Lord, if you had been here,
my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask of God,
God will give you."
Jesus said to her,
"Your brother will rise."
"I know he will rise,
in the resurrection on the last day."
Jesus told her,
"I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
(I add here—even if we are deeply wounded-we can be healed)
Do you believe this?"
She said to him, "Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world."
He became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said,
"Where have you laid him?"
They said to him, "Sir, come and see."
And Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, "See how he loved him."
But some of them said,
"Could not the one who opened the eyes of the blind man
have done something so that this man would not have died?"
So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb.
It was a cave, and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, "Take away the stone."
Martha, the dead man's sister, said to him,
"Lord, by now there will be a stench;
he has been dead for four days."
Jesus said to her,
"Did I not tell you that if you believe
you will see the glory of God?"
So they took away the stone.
Can you open the tomb, and allow the Power of God's resurrecting Love in?