It Stinks

Overcoming Situations That Stink

Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, is not one to shy away from talking about politics. I mentioned to Ed that we would be having a provincial election soon in B.C. My old neighbor reminded me that election times are the occasion for those opposing the government to raise a big stink about the government’s record, while in office.

When it comes to political parties, they all stink, or one is as bad as another, is how Ed sees it. If Ed was to believe that death stinks, I could agree with him. When we face the death of a loved one it just plainly stinks as a situation before us. The Bible deals honestly with the pain and grief that death causes for those that must endure the death and burial of a loved one. They experience the heavy, hard to breathe air of separation. It is too late for their loved one to breathe beside them again. In the grave, the dead no longer smell anything.

A good friend of Jesus named Lazarus took sick, and his sisters sent word for Jesus to come and heal him. When Jesus came, Lazarus was dead and buried in his tomb for four days. His sisters were glad to see Jesus but sure that Jesus had arrived too late. They both said to Jesus, “Lord. If you had been here my brother would not have died.” Jesus told Martha one of the sisters of Lazarus, “Your brother will rise again. I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

Martha told Jesus, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.” When Jesus came to Mary and Martha many Jews from Jerusalem were there consoling the sisters in their grief. Jesus met and talked with Martha first, and then Mary came to Jesus along with the visitors from Jerusalem. Meeting Mary and the other mourners Jesus was moved by their weeping. He asked to see Lazarus’ tomb, and when they said for him to come and see it, he wept.

At the grave, Jesus said, “Take the stone away,” but Martha objected saying, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for it has been four days.” Jesus reminded Martha to believe him and wait to see the glory of God. They took the stone away and Jesus prayed and then cried out in a loud voice and Lazarus came out of the tomb wrapped in burial cloths. They took off his burial cloths so that Lazarus could go about freely.

Mary and Martha knew the body of their brother would begin to decompose within a few days in his tomb. By the fourth day, there would be a foul odor. Jesus proved, that although he came too late to save Lazarus’ life, but as the Son of God he could bring Lazarus to life even after four days, dead. Like the sisters many question the timing of God; as either a no-show or arrives too late. Jesus proved his power and his timing was perfect for raising Lazarus.

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Raymond Maher
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